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Alderman Horan. — Embarrassment of the Government. — The Lord 
Lieutenant to Lord Weymouth. — Description of the state of affairs. 
— The same to the same. — Question of English laws for Ireland. — 
Lord Hillsborough succeeds Lord Weymouth. — His conduct in the 
affair of Alderman Horan. — Infatuation of Lord North on the state of 
Ireland. — Prudent conduct of the Irish patriots. — The Commissioners 
of Customs to the Lord Lieutenant. — Lord Hillsborough to the Lord 
Lieutenant. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough, — advises 
temporising. — Sir Richard Heron to Sir Stanier Porten. — Proceed- 
ings in the British Parliament regarding Ireland. — Mr. Foster's 
resolutions as to free trade. — His character. — Lords Hillsborough and 
Buckingham's letters respecting the embargo. — The provisions sent 
from Ireland. — Danger of supplying the enemy. — Lord Buckingham's 
letter regarding Mr. Grattan and Mr. Conolly, 17th, and of Lord 
Hillsborough of the 22nd February, 1780. — Exertions of Govern- 
ment on free trade. — Letter of Lord Buckingham of 2nd of March. — 
Conduct of the Duke of Leinster. — Exertions of Government against 
the Declaration of Rights. — Address moved by the Duke of Leinster 
reflecting on the volunteers. — Protest of Lord Charlemont and other 
peers against it. — Failure of the Earl of Buckinghamshire to get a 



similar Address in the Commons. — 1780. — Lord Weymouth's letter 
to the Lord Lieutenant. — The King's directions to oppose any altera- 
tion in the Constitution .... Page 1 


Feelings of the various parties on the subject of the Declaration of 
Rights. — Mr. John Forbes. — His conduct and character. — Mr. Flood. 
— His conduct on this great question. — Anecdotes of him. — Mr. 
Grattan's conduct. — Attempts to dissuade him from moving the De- 
claration of Rights. — Application from Edmund Burke. — Lord 
Charlemont's proper conduct. — Dean Swift. — Vanessa's Bower. — 
Mr. Grattan retires to his uncle Marlay at Celbridge Abbey. — Descrip- 
tion of the spot. — Verses upon it by Mr. Grattan. — His account of the 
motion. — Lord-Lieutenant's letters of the 12th and 19th of April, 
respecting Mr. Yelverton's motion on Poyning's Law; and Mr. 
Bushe's on the Mutiny Bill. — Mr. Grattan's resolutions declaring the 
rights of Ireland. — Skill of Mr. Burgh on that occasion. — Lord-Lieu- 
tenant's letters of 20th and 21st of April, containing an account of 
the Debate ...... Page 32 


Feeling of the people respecting free trade. — Causes which led to the 
union of Catholic and Protestant. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord 
North. — Question of sugar duties. — The King's name used against 
Ireland. — Resolutions of the volunteers. — Speech of Mr. Yelver- 
ton thereon. — His character. — Anecdotes of him. — His noble defence 
of Mr. Grattan in his absence. — New dilemma of the country. — The 
magistrates will not obey the English Mutiny Bill. — They release the 
prisoners under it. — Letters of the Lord Lieutenant of 8th and 22nd 
April. — Case of two deserters. — Lord Lieutenant's letter of 26th 
April. — Case of Hart the deserter. — Lord Lieutenant's letter of the 
27th April. — Account of debate on Poyning's law and Yelverton's 
motion . . . . . Page 56 


Mr. Grattan's Bill respecting Irish leases. — Precarious state of landed 
property .—Firmness and disinterestedness of Mr. Grattan. — His own 



account of this transaction. — His conduct to his own tenant — The 
Mutiny Bill. — Obstinacy of Lord North. — Danger of the country in 
consequence. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough. — Account 
of the Debate. — The same to the same. — Subject continued. — 
Straits of the Government in regard to Ireland. — Mr. Fox's opinion 
of a perpetual Mutiny Bill. — Mr. Bushe's speech on this subject. — 
His character. — Insidious motion of Mr. Foster relative to the Irish 
army. — Mr. Grattan's conduct on it. — Depression of the party. — Ed- 
mund Burke's opinion of the Irish Mutiny Bill . . Page 81 


Increased ill treatment and discontent of Ireland. — Conduct of the 
Duke of Leinster. — Appointment of Lord Charlemont to the bead of 
the volunteers. — His reply on the nomination. — Character of Lord 
Charlemont. — Letter of Lord Charlemont from Egypt. — His travels 
and adventures there. — His birth-day ode written by himself. — 
Poetical epistle of Lord Charlemont to Mr. Marlay . Page 101 


Mr. Grattan accompanies Lord Charlemont to the North. — Review of 
the volunteer corps. — Arrival of Lord Camden. — Address to him, and 
his reply. — His opinion on Ireland. — Address to Mr. Grattan, and his 
reply. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough. — Services of Mr. 
Broome. — Astonishing increase of the volunteers. — Good effects of 
thesame. — The Mutiny Bill. — Mr. Grattan's conduct on the occasion. 
— The Lord Lieutenant's account of the debate on the Bill. — Disap- 
pointment but not despair of the patriots. — Mr. Grattan's advice to 
constituencies.— Resolutions in consequence. — Conduct of the Go- 
vernment thereon. — The Viceroy reproved by the British Minister. 
— Resolutions of the citizens of Dublin. — Meetings on College 
Green. — Expressed opinions of the nation. — Parliament prorogued. 

Page 117 


Alarm at St. James's. — Desire of the English Government to stifle the 
liberty of the press.— Opinion of the Lord Lieutenant and the Irish 



Attorney-General, Scott, against it. — Character of Scott. — His origin 
and change of opinion. — His desertion to Government. — His style in 
Parliament. — Extraordinary anecdotes of him, connected with the 
Rebellion of 1798. — Further proceedings and resolutions of the 
volunteers ...... Page 140 


Removal of the Lord Lieutenant. — Lord Carlisle appointed Viceroy 
— Administration of Lord Buckingham reviewed. — State of Ireland 
before and after his rule. — To whom and what her misfortunes were 
owing. — Degrading means of obtaining majorities. — Disgraceful 
state of the Pension List. — Mr. Grattan's speech on the sale of 
peerages. — His prophetic anticipation of the consequences of cor- 
ruption. — Letters of Lord Buckingham confirming the charges of 
corruption .... . Page 152 


Impoverished and depressed state of Ireland. — Changes in the European 
world. — Character of the Irish volunteers — the salvation of Ireland. 
— New administration. — Retirement of Sir Robert Heron. — Suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Eden. — Lord Carlisle. — Plans and conduct of the 
new Irish Government. — Corruption and bribery. — Sir Samuel Brad- 
street the Recorder. — Partial success of Eden in reducing the oppo- 
sition. — Mr. Flood's resignation and dismissal from the Council 
Board. — Demonstration of the volunteers. — Lord Charlemont ap- 
pointed their General. — Approaching dangers of the Empire. — Dread 
of invasion. — The volunteers. — Meeting of the House. — Irish Navy. 
— Mr. Yelverton. — Mr. Grattan's motion for repeal of Mutiny Bill. — 
Lost by a large majority. — His pamphlet on the subject. — Answer to 
it by Dr. Jebb. — Profligate use of the public money. — 1781. — Mr. 
Flood's motion on the Mutiny Bill.— The Attorney-General's humour- 
ous allusion to Mr. Flood, and his reply. — Poyning's law. — Anecdote 
of Mr. Yelverton. — The Roman Catholic Bill. — Mr. Grattan's reasons 
for supporting it. — Father O'Leary. — Mr. Flood's opposition to the 
Catholic claims. — Question of trade with Portugal. — The Habeas 
Corpus Bill ..... Page 178 




The Convention of Dungannon, 1782. — Resolutions passed there — Pre- 
pared by Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood.— Mr. Dobbs.— Meeting of 
the Delegates. — Important results of these proceedings. — Weakness 
of the Government. — Mr. Grattan's new motion on the Rights of Ire- 
land. — Its ultimate results.— Dissolution of Lord North's ministry. — 
His character as a politician. — Remark of Lord Chatham on him. — 
Lord Rockingham's administration formed. — Dismissal of Lord 
Carlisle from the Viceroyship. — Conduct of Mr. Eden. — His letter to 
Lord Shelburne. — His strange motion in the house. — Mr. Fox's reply. 
— Message from the King on Ireland. — Singular resolution carried in 
the Irish Parliament by Mr. Grattan. — The new Viceroy, the Duke of 
Portland. — The new ministers beg for delay. — Reply of Mr. Grattan. 
— Lord Charlemont's letter to Mr. Fox. — Tenders of office to Mr. 
Grattan and his Friends. — Their refusal, and the reasons for it. — 
Danger of delay ..... Page 203 


Arrival of the Duke of Portland as Viceroy. — Mr. Grattan's resolutions 
approved by Lord Pery. — Predicament of the Irish Government. — 
Support and advice of Mr. Daly. — The Irish claims as set forth by 
Mr. Grattan. — Perplexity of the Government. — Negociations with Mr. 
Grattan. — A levee of patriots. — Excitement on the occasion. — Views of 
the Government. — The important day arrives. — Message of the Crown. 
— Speech of Mr. Grattan. — Ireland is free. — Resolutions of the volun- 
teers. — Mr. Grattan's letter to Mr. Fox. — Mr. Day's communication 
with Lord Shelburne. — Constitutional sentiments of the minister 
— Applauded by Mr. Burke. — Mr. Grattan's letter to Mr. Day. — 
His views as to the only course now to be adopted. — Mr. Day's 
interview with the minister. — Mr. Fox's reply to Mr. [Grattan. 

Page 230 


Mr. Grattan and the Lords.— Vexatious expense of appeals. — History of 
the transaction. — Lords Pery and Charlemont. — Mr. Fitzgibbon. — 
Mr. Scott — His remarkable speech. — Mr. Grattan succeeds in a 



final judicature for Ireland. — Resolutions of support. — His reply to 
an address from the Clanricarde volunteers. — Letters from Mr. 
Grattan to Mr. Fox and Mr. Day. — Letter from the Duke of Portland 
to Mr. Fox. — Mr. Fitzpatrick on the foregoing topic. — His letter to 
Mr. Grattan. — The best objects gained in the best manner. — Character 
and conduct of Mr. Fitzpatrick. — The patriots trust to Mr. Fox, but 
keep clear of the court. — Noble character and conduct of Mr. Fox. — 
His treatment of Ireland .... Page 254 


The Duke of Portland defended from the charge of insincerity. — Mr. 
Ogilvie and the Union. — That idea solely attributable to him. — Corre- 
spondence on the subject. — Use made of the matter in 1799 by Mr. 
Pitt. — General Fitzpatrick's explanation to Mr. Grattan. — Mr. Fox 
moves the repeal of the 6th of Geo. I. —Debate on the motion, 
which passes. — Proceedings in the Irish Parliament in consequence. — 
Mr. Grattan moves an address to the King. — Universal satisfaction of 
Ireland at the late proceedings. — Mr. Beauchamp Bagenal. — His 
character. — Grant of 50,000/. to Mr. Grattan. — Resolution of the 
volunteers ...... Page 284 


Increase of the navy. — King's speech relative to Ireland. — Lord Charle- 
mont. — New discontents and their origin. — Conduct of Mr. Flood. — 
He agitates for express renunciation. — Mr. Flood's motion. — Mr. 
Grattan's resolutions. — Sinister proceedings of pseudo patriots. — 
Lord Abingdon. — His character. — Bill moved by him to defeat the 
late concessions to Ireland. — Bad effects of it in Ireland. — Further 
causes of discontent. — The volunteers. — The lawyers' corps. — Con- 
duct of Mr. Fox. — The question of simple repeal argued. — Dangers 
and evils of the new proceedings. — Fatal consequences of misgovern- 
ment. — Disputes about words. — Parallel between Ireland and Ame- 
rica. — The revolution of 1688. — Sir Jonah Barrington and Mr. Grattan. 
— Opinion of the great law authorities on the question of simple re- 

! peal. — Sagacity and firmness of Mr. Grattan. — Case submitted for 
opinion.- — Nine Irish judges in favour of Mr. Grattan and Mr. Fox — 
Lord Kenyon — Lord Erskine — Sir Arthur Piggott — and Sir Samuel 



Romilly's opinion on the case of simple repeal. — Singular change in 
Mr. Grattan's popularity. — Lord Charlemont's remarks on this sub- 
ject — Mr. Hardy — His character. — Death of Lord Rockingham — His 
character. — Mr. Pitt — Slave Trade — Mr. Fox — Lord John Russell. 
— Letters from Mr. Pery to Mr. Grattan — and Mr. Grattan in reply. 

Page 343 


1. Character of Mr. Grattan 385 

2. Additional official Correspondence relative to the affairs- of 

Ireland, from June 1779, to December 1780 . 392 

3. Resolutions and Addresses voted by the Volunteers . . 447 

4. Address of Volunteers to Lord Leinster, and offers of service 450 

Page 281. line 14. for reetition read repetition. 





Sir Richard Heron to Lord Hillsborough, 8th April, 1780, — Deserters 

from the army . . . . . .71 

Lord Lieutenant .. to same, 22nd April, 1780, — Mr. Bushe's motion 

on Mutiny Bill ...... 73 

Same .. to same, 28th April, 1780, — Publication in Freeman's 

Journal . . . . . . .76 

Same . . to same, 29th April, 1780, — Meeting of Privy Council . 78 
Same .. to same, 29th April, 1780, — Mr. Yelverton's motion on 

Poyning's Law . . . . . .79 

Same . . to same, 8th May, 1780, — Privy Council on Mutiny Bill . 85 
Same . . to same, 21st May, 1780, — Privy Council on Mutiny Bill . 90 
Same . . to same, 24th May, 1780,— Mutiny Bill . . 92 

Same . . to same, 28th May, 1 780,— Mutiny Bill . . 93 

Sir Richard Heron to] Sir Stanier Porten, 10th June, 1780,— Duke of 

Leinster's conduct ...... 102 

Lord Charlemont to Richard Marlay, 6th September, 1749, — Voyage in 

Greek Islands . . . . . .109 

Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough, 13th July, 1780, — Review of 

Volunteers . . . . . . .122 

Sir Richard Heron to Sir Stanier Porten, 9th August, 1780, — Debates 

in House of Commons ..... 125 

Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough, 17th August, 1780, — Debates 

on Mutiny Bill . . . . . .126 




Mr. Grattan to Robert Day, Esq., 1st August, 1780, — Advice to the 

people . . . . . . .128 

Lord Lieutenant to Lord North, 8th September, 1780, — Rewards for 

Votes in Parliament . . . . .163 

Same., to Lord Hillsborough, 8th September, 1780, — Recom- 
mends to the Peerage . . . . .165 

Same . . to Lord North, 22nd September, 1789, — Recommends 

Mr. Tonson . . . . . . .165 

Same . . to same, 10th October, 1780, — Recommends Lord Naas . 166 
Same . . to same, 24th October, — Recommends Lords Mount- 

cashell, Erne, Desart, Doneraile . . . .168 

Same . . to Lord Hillsborough, 19th November, 1780, — Rewards 

for procuring Majorities in Parliament . . .169 

Same .. to same, 19th November, 1780, — Recommends Coote, 

Evans, Tottenham, Meredyth, Mrs. Jebb . . .170 

Mr. Eden to Lord Shelburne, 5th April, 1782,— On the Affairs of Ire- 
land . . . . . . . .210 

Charles Sheridan to Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 27th March, 1782, — 

Affairs of Ireland . , . . . .214 

Charles Fox to Lord Charlemont, 4th April, 1782, — Affairs of Ireland . 215 
Lord Rockingham to Lord Charlemont, 9th April, 1782, — Affairs of 

Ireland . . . . . . .218 

Lord Charlemont to Mr. Fox, 11th April, 1782,— Affairs of Ireland . 221 
Same .. to Lord Rockingham, 17th April, 1782, — Irish Parlia- 
ment . . . . . . . .240 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Fox, 18th April, 1782,— Rights of Ireland . 243 

Same . . to Mr. Day, 22nd April, 1782, — Lord Shelburne and Irish 

Rights . . . . . .249 

Mr. Fox to Mr. Grattan, 27th April, 1782,— Affairs of Ireland . 252 

Mr. Grattan to Mr. Fox, 6th May, 1782, — Final Judicature . . 269 

Same . . to Mr. Day, 11th May, 1782,— On Ireland . . 271 

Duke of Portland to Mr. Fox, 28th April, 1782,— On Irish Affairs . 272 
Mr. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Grattan, 10th March, 1785, — On the proceed- 
ings of 1782 . . . . . .276 

Duke of Portland to Lord Shelburne, 6th May, 1782, — On Irish 

Affairs . . . . . . .286 

Same . . to Mr. Ogilvie, 26th May, 1782,— On Union . . 289 

Lord Rockingham to Duke of Portland, 25th May, 1782,— On Union . 289 
Duke of Portland to Lord Shelburne, 5th June, 1782,— On Union . 290 
Same . . to same, 6th June, 1782, — On Union . . .291 




Lord Shelburne to the Duke of Portland, 9th June, 1782,— On a 

Union 292 

Duke of Portland to Lord Shelburne, 22nd June, 1782,— On a Union . 293 
Mr. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Grattan, 28th June, 1800,— Duke of Portland, 

and proceedings in 1782 ..... 295 
Edmund Burke to Lord Charlemont, 12th June, 1782, — Ireland and 

Mr. Grattan 301 

Mr. Fitzpatrick to Mr. Hutchinson, (Provost) 12th July, 1782,— On 

Lord Abingdon's Bill . . . . . .351 

Mr. Grattan to Sir Jonah Barrington, 12th March, 1818, — on Simple 

Repeal 361 

Mr. Pery to Mr. Grattan, 2nd October, 1782,— State of the Country 373 
Mr. Grattan to Mr. Pery, 10th October, 1782,— State of Ireland . . 315 
Mr. Pery to Mr. Grattan, 17th October, 1782,— Return from Spa • . 371 
Mr. Grattan to Mr. Pery, 20th October,— Irish Affairs . .377 


Lord Buckingham to Lord Weymouth, 8th January, 1779, — Trade of 

Ireland . . . . . . .392 

Same, .to same, 25th January, 1779, — Militia Arms . . 393 

Same, .to same, 30th January, 1779, — Letter, Sir Lucius O'Brien 394 

Sir Lucius O'Brien to Lord Buckingham, 27th March, 1779, — Militia 

Arms . . . . . . . .395 

Sir Robert Heron to Sir Stanier Porten, 25th October, 1779,— Trade 

of Ireland ....... 395 

Lord Buckingham to Lord North, 25th October, 1779, — Affairs of Ire- 
land ..... . . .396 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 1st December, 1779, — Irish 

Trade . . . . . . . 399 

Lord Hillsborough to Lord Buckingham, 1st December, 1779, — State 

of Ireland ....... 405 

Lord Hillsborough to Lord Buckingham, 9th December, 1779, — Distress 407 

Lord Hillsborough to Lord Buckingham, 25th December, 1779, — Arms 

and Provisions conveyed to the Enemy . . . 409 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 12th January, 1780, — Address 

of Volunteers . . . . . .410 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 30th January, 1780, — Pro- 
visions to the Enemy . . . . .411 




Lord Hillsborough to Lord Buckingham, 6th February, 1780, — Arms 

supplied . . . . . . . 412 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 10th February, 1780, — Pro- 
ceedings in Irish Commons . . . . .414 

Same .. to same, 17th February, 1780, — Embargo . . 415 

Same . . to same, 21st February, 1780, — Mutiny Bill . . 418 

Same . . to same, 29th April, 1780,— Mutiny Bill . . 419 

Sir Richard Heron to Sir Stanier Porten, 2nd May, 1780,— Mutiny Bill 421 
Same . . to John Robinson, 13th May, 1780, — Sugar duties . 423 
Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 18th May, 1780, — National 

expenses ....... 424 

Sir Richard Heron to John Robinson, 20th May, 1780, — Sugar duties 428 
Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 2nd June, 1780,— Mutiny Bill 431 
Sir Richard Heron to Sir Stanier Porten, 13th June, 1780, — Manufac- 
turers' combination . . . . . . 432 

Same .. to same, 11th July, 1780,— State of Country . . 434 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 16th August, 1780, — Sugar 

Duties . . . . . . . .437 

Same . . to same, 23rd August, 1780, — Meeting of Citizens— Non- 
importation ....... 439 

Same . . to same, 7th October, 1780,— Removing Troops . . 440 

Same . . to Lord North, 18th October, 1780,— Lord Naas . 441 

Lord Hillsborough to Lord Lieutenant, 2nd December, 1780, — Prose- 
cution of Press ...... 444 

Lord Buckingham to Lord Hillsborough, 11th December, 1780, — Pro- 
secutions of Press, — Opinion of Attorney General . . 445 






Alderman Horan. — Embarrassment of the Government. — The Lord 
Lieutenant to Lord Weymouth. — Description of the state of 
affairs. — The same to the same. — Question of English laws for 
Ireland. — Lord Hillsborough succeeds Lord Weymouth. — His con- 
duct in the affair of Alderman Horan. — Infatuation of Lord North 
on the state of Ireland. — Prudent conduct of the Irish patriots — 
The Commissioners of Customs to the Lord Lieutenant. — Lord Hills- 
borough to the Lord Lieutenant. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hills- 
borough, — advises temporising. — Sir Richard Heron to Sir Stannier 
Porsen. — Proceedings in the British Parliament regarding Ireland. — 
Mr. Foster's resolutions as to free trade. — His character — Lords Hills- 
borough and Buckingham's letters respecting the embargo — The provi- 
sions sent from Ireland. — Danger of supplying the enemy. — Lord 
Buckingham's letter regarding Mr. Grattan and Mr. Conolly, 17th, 
and of Lord Hillsborough of the 22nd February, 1780 — Exertions of 
Government on free trade. —Letter of Lord Buckingham of 2d March. 
— Conduct of the Duke of Leinster. — Exertions of Government against 
the Declaration of Rights. — Address moved by the Duke of Leinster 
reflecting on the volunteers — Protest of Lord Charlemont and other 



[CHAP. I. 

peers against it. — Failure of the Earl of Buckinghamshire to get a 
similar Address in the^Commons. — 1780. — Lord Weymouth's letter 
to the Lord Lieutenant. — The King's directions to oppose any alter- 
ation in the Constitution. 

An event now occurred which had well nigh in- 
volved the two countries in actual hostilities. A 
bold and public spirited citizen of Dublin — Alder- 
man Horan — justly conceiving that an English law 
should not bind Ireland, unless re-enacted therein, 
determined to try the question, and ascertain if 
the Act of William III.* could prevent him from 
exporting his woollen merchandise to foreign 
countries. Accordingly, he tendered for export 
at the Custom-house some Irish woollen goods. 

The Commissioners applied to Government, — 
and the Lord Lieutenant applied to England. 
The question of mere power and usurpation was 
now brought to the test, and it was to be tried 
whether the trade of millions was to be stopped 
by the law of another country, not enacted in 
Ireland, A British frigate was then off the coast, 
and would in all probability have detained the 
merchant ship ; or, if resisted, would have fired 
into her. Thus, a repetition of the Boston violence 

* In 1698, the English manufacturers had addressed King William, 
complaining that the Irish were applying themselves to the woollen 
manufactures, to the great prejudice of the trade of England ; and they 
prayed that he would hinder the export of wool from Ireland, except it 
be sent to England. His reply was — "I shall do all that in me lies to 
discourage the woollen manufacture in Ireland." 



and of resistance, as in America, appeared likely to 
occur. But, at this critical and momentous crisis, 
the wisdom and temper of the leaders among the 
popular party was successfully exerted. They 
moderated and controlled the indignant resentment 
of the people ; thus preventing a convulsion in Ire- 
land, and a war with Great Britain. Nothing fur- 
ther, therefore, was done in the matter ; and the 
question was not brought to issue, but it served to 
arouse the attention of Lord Hillsborough, who had 
just succeeded Lord Weymouth as Secretary for 
the Home Department. Accordingly he addressed 
to Lord Buckingham a letter, somewhat in a tone 
of reproof, seeking to cast upon him blame for a 
neglect which was justly to be attributed to the 
government of Lord North ; his attention had 
been repeatedly called to the situation of Ireland, 
by the motions made in Parliament ; but he had 
evinced such a total disregard for her wants, as 
well as a singular ignorance of her state, that he 
declared in the House of Commons, u That the 
distress of Ireland was a child of the imagination ; 
and except where laziness was attended by its 
never-failing companion — wretchedness — all in 
Ireland was a continued scene of abundance and 

This had been the singular speech of the British 
Minister only a few sessions before ; betraying 
such ignorance, indifference, and inattention, that 
it required almost a civil war on the part of Ire- 

b 2 



[CHAP. I. 

land to undeceive the Minister, and awaken the 

The following are the official letters which 
passed on this subject, 


May it please your Excellency, 
We humbly beg leave to acquaint your Excellency that 
Mr. George L/Estrange, clerk to the collector of this port, 
having been summoned to attend the House of Commons 
on Saturday last, the 20th instant, during his absence, 
Alderman James Horan went to the office to tender an 
entry for a hundred yards of old drapery, made of Irish 
wool, and Irish manufacture, to be shipped on board the 
Sarah, Hans Madse Malle, for Rotterdam. 

The objection to the passing this entry, as being con- 
trary to the British Act of the 10th and 11th William III., 
and some arguments as to the propriety of the measure, 
being offered to Mr. Horan's consideration, he was dis- 
suaded from insisting upon tendering his entry, which, 
however, he left in the office with the amount of the duty, 
until he should consult his friends ; and on Monday morn- 
ing last he went again to the Collector's Office, and told 
the collector's clerk that he would not at that time insist 
on the entry being passed, but that he did not mean to 
give up the point. It appears to us, that this proceeding 
ivas not imagined solely by the Alderman, but that it was 
concerted in order to bring forward the question how far 
the British law extends to the prohibition of the exporta- 
tion of Irish manufacture to foreign countries ; and as the 
matter may possibly be resumed, and it is a question of no 


small importance to the state, we think it our duty to re- 
present this transaction to your Excellency. 
We are, &c. 
Naas, Clifden, 
J. Beresford, H. Langrishe, 

J. W. Mason, Robert Walker. 

Richard Tovvnsend, 
Custom House, Dublin, 
November 25, 1779. 

The inability of the country at this period to 
bear any additional taxation, and the embarrass- 
ment of Government, are set forth in the account 
hereafter given by the Lord Lieutenant, who found 
himself unable to carry the measures contem- 
plated, and was defeated in the House, upon the 
question of granting new taxes, when Mr. Grat- 
tan carried his motion by the extraordinary ma- 
jority of 170 to 47. 


Dublin Castle, November 25, 1779. 

My Lord, 

It appearing impracticable for any Administration in the 
present disposition of the people and parliament of this 
kingdom, to carry the supplies for the support of his Ma- 
jesty's Government in the usual mode for two years, two 
meetings of the confidential servants of the crown were 
held at Sir Richard Heron's apartments on the 20th and 
21st instant, to take this important business into conside- 

The result of these deliberations was, that as it was 
evident Government would be supported by very few in 
opposing any amendment which might be made for limit- 



ing those supplies to six months, it might tend to quiet the 
minds of the people, and prevent violence, if it was known 
this day, when the Committee of Supply is to sit, that Go- 
vernment would not urge the supplies being granted for 
two years. The Attorney-General officially moves the re- 
solutions in the Committee of Supply, and it was thought 
right, that as it must be known Government would not 
insist that the supplies for the ordinary revenue should be 
granted for two years, Mr. Attorney General should move 
for six months only. I could not, however, as the Chan- 
cellor was detained by indisposition from these meetings, 
think myself warranted in consenting to so extraordinary 
and unprecedented a measure, without the most deliberate 
consideration ; I therefore directed a meeting for this pur- 
pose to be held on Tuesday morning at my apartments 
in the castle, to which the following Government officers 
and confidential servants were summoned :-«-« 

The Primate Lord Chief Justice Paterson 

The Chancellor Lord Chief Baron 

Archbishop of Dublin The Attorney-General 
Archbishop of Cashel Solicitor-General 
The Provost Mr. Clements 

Secretary of State Mr. Beresford 

The Speaker Mr. Foster, and 

Lord Annaly Mr. Mason. 

The Provost and Mr. Beresford, who had attended the 
meeting at Sir Richard Heron's apartments, and approved 
these measures, were prevented from attending by illness. 
After the subject under consideration had been fully dis- 
cussed, the meeting came to an unanimous resolution : — 
"Thatit being evident, should the suppliesbe proposed for the 
usual term, the question would be carried against Govern- 
ment by a great majority ; and there being reason to appre- 
hend the greatest violence might be shown against the sup- 
porters of Administration, in such a measure, it became 



expedient and necessary to depart from the usual mode of 
proceeding, and adopt the plan herein-mentioned." 

In consequence of this unanimous resolution, Sir Richard 
Heron in the House of Commons on Tuesday, communi- 
cated the plans of Government with regard to raising the 
supplies, and stated to the House that although it was 
his firm opinion it would be for the interest of Ireland to 
grant the supplies in the usual mode for two years, being 
very apprehensive that the departing from what had been 
the established practice might be attended with conse- 
quences which no man can foresee, yet in order to promote 
that moderation and temper in their proceedings which is 
necessary to carry the wishes of this kingdom for an exten- 
sion of its commerce into execution, Government would 
yield to what seemed to be the general sense of the repre- 
sentatives of the people; that he hoped, however, while the 
supplies for the ordinary revenue were granted for six 
months, they would be made fully adequate to the public 
exigencies to that time, and that the duties for support of 
the Loan Fund, on which the credit of the nation so im- 
mediately depended, would be granted for the accustomed 
term of two years. 

He then proceeded to communicate to the House the state 
of the revenues, and having represented that about 200,000/. 
would be wanted to clear the arrears on the establishments 
to Lady-day 1779, and 300,000/. to make good the esti- 
mated deficiency of the revenues from thence to the 24th 
of June next — in the whole 500,000/. — informed the House 
that Government would propose to establish two lotteries 
for raising part of this sum, and that the remainder should 
be raised in Exchequer Bills or Debentures. And in order 
to fund the new loan, which was proposed to be got in this 
mode, at little more than 4 per cent, and to make up the 
deficiency in the loan funds, amounting at present to 



36,000/. annually, and with the new loan, to 56,000/. a year, 
he mentioned that the following taxes would be submitted 
to the House : — 

1st. — An additional duty on all goods, except 

wine, imported after the rate of 61. per cent. 24,000/. 
2nd. — An additional duty on all wines import- 
ed at 41. 6s. per ton 21,500/. 

3rd. — An additional duty of Id. per lb. on 

tobacco 15,000/. 

4th. — An additional duty on all raw and un- 

tanned hides exported, of Is. each 3,000/. 


As soon as Sir Richard Heron sat down, many gentle- 
men in opposition stated their objections to the proposals 
of Government in the strongest manner. 

They thought, anticipating the deficiency June next, 
granting so large a sum as 500,000/. and voting the loan 
duties for two years, entirely defeated every purpose they 
proposed by limiting the bill for the revenues at large to 
six months ; and the idea of any new tax at all at this time 
was very much objected to. It was said that the period 
for the consideration of such measures could not be until 
after Christmas, when the resolutions of the British Par- 
liament could be known, and then it should appear that 
they would not be behind-hand in generosity to Great 
Britain for the concessions she should make. After a long 
conversation, Mr. Foster, who in the opening of the debate 
had defended the new taxes with great ability, rinding that 
he met with little support, proposed to the House, as from 
himself merely, this compromise, that Government should 
relinquish its demand of 500,000/. and give up the idea 
of any new taxes, upon consideration that opposition would 
provide for the arrears to the 29th of September, amount- 

CHAP. I.] 



ing to about 300,000/. and grant the loan duties for the 
usual term of two years. 

But Sir Richard Heron, not thinking himself warranted 
in giving up a plan which had been so fully considered, 
declined accepting the terms without taking some time to 
consider so important a measure. After some further con- 
versation with regard to granting the loan duties for two 
years, the justice and necessity of which the Attorney- 
General showed in the most convincing manner, the House 

I immediately ordered a meeting at my apartments for 
yesterday morning, at which were present, 

The Primate, The Attorney General, 

The Chancellor, Solicitor General, 

Archbishop of Dublin, Mr. Clements, 
Archbishop of Cashel, Mr. Burton, 

Lord Annaly, Mr. Beresford, 

L. Chief Justice Paterson, and 
Lord Chief Baron, Mr. Foster. 

I mentioned at this meeting my opinion that it would be 
right for me to propose and urge the new taxes, which was 
approved of by all except Mr. Foster, who thought the not 
proposing new taxes would conciliate the minds of the people, 
and Mr. Burton, who thought the country unable to bear 
them. This resolution being known, Mr. Grattan, as soon 
as the House met yesterday, moved, That the House do 
resolve, " That at this time it would be inexpedient to 
grant new taxes," which was immediately opposed by Sir 
Richard Heron, who was supported by the Attorney and 
Solicitor-General, Sir Henry Cavendish, and Mr. Mason, 
but after a long debate, the question was carried in the 

Ayes 170, Noes 47. 

I thought it absolutely necessary to divide the House 


upon this question ; and although Lord Shannon and the 
greatest part of his friends, Lord Ely's friends, and Sir 
Robert Deane and his friends, supported Sir Richard 
Heron, no more than forty-nine remained with him in 
the House in support of Government. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Nov. 26, 1779. 

My Lord, 

Yesterday the House resolved itself into the committee of 
supply, and upon the Attorney General's proposing that 
the duties for the support of the loan fund should be 
granted for the usual term of two years, an amendment 
was proposed to shorten the duration of them to six months. 
This produced a very warm debate, which lasted until 
eleven o'clock, when the House divided, and the amend- 
ment was carried, 

Ayes 138, Noes 100. 

Mr. Conolly opposed the amendment with great firm- 
ness; he expressed the strongest disapprobation of some 
exceptionable expressions which fell from the Prime Ser- 
geant* yesterday, and from Mr. Grattan upon a former 
debate, and he reminded the Prime Sergeant that he was 
a servant of the Crown. This occasioned some personal 
altercation between them. The Attorney-General, as 
usual, opposed the amendment with great ability, and Mr. 
Clements, Mr. Burton, Sir Hercules Langrishe, Mr. Ser- 
geant Fitzgerald, and several other gentlemen, spoke in 
support of the original motion. 

The only gentlemen, immediate servants of the Crown, 

* Mr. Hussey Burgh. 

CHAP. I.] 



that opposed Government, were the Prime Sergeant, who, 
it is reported to me, defended the amendment to the utmost 
of his abilities and with great violence ; and the Provost, 
who considering this as comprised within his instructions 
from Cork to vote for a short money bill, though ill in his 
bed, instructed his son, Mr. Hutchinson, one of the Com- 
missioners of Imprest Accounts, to declare to the House 
his approbation of the amendment in the most decided 

The Duke of Leinster's friends supported the amend- 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


It is worth while now to refer to the measures 
adopted in England in the course of this year, 

On the 11th of May, the Marquis of Rocking- 
ham, in the House of Lords, had moved an Ad- 
dress to his Majesty, for papers regarding Ireland, 
which motion, after some slight alteration, was 
passed. In the month of June, Lord Shelburne 
moved an Address to the King, respecting Ireland, 
but was unsuccessful. 

In November, when the Parliament met, his 
Majesty in his Speech stated, that he had ordered 
papers regarding Ireland to be laid before the 
House, so as to enable them to pursue measures 
tending to the wealth and commerce of both king- 
doms. This brought on a debate, in which Lord 
North and the Ministers were severely censured, 
and particularly by Lord Camden. 



[CHAP. I. 

In the House of Commons, Mr. Fox said, that the 
administration must yield to the demands of Ire- 
land in part or in the whole, or must resist them 
altogether. If they meant to grant the whole of 
their demands, (which he wanted them to do,) 
they should do it instantly, and without hesita- 
tion , though even their readiest compliance would 
not now be considered as a concession. The re- 
fusal of the more reasonable demands of Ireland 
in the last Session, and the loud voice now raised 
in that country, would sufficiently mark it with 
the stamp of necessity. 

In December, the subject was renewed by Lord 
Shelburne, who complained of the conduct of 
Ministers, stating they had abdicated the Govern- 
ment ; — that the people had assumed the powers 
of the State ; — and the volunteers were warranted 
in their proceedings by every principle of the con- 
stitution. He then moved a censure upon the 
Minister for having neglected to take measures for 
the relief of Ireland, and thereby endangering the 
connexion between the two kingdoms : — this mo- 
tion was rejected. 

On the 6th, a similar motion was made in the 
Commons, by the Earl of Upper Ossory. Lord 
North defended his conduct, and enumerated the 
benefits conferred on Ireland, viz. allowing a free 
exportation of beef and butter to England; en- 
couraging the trade to Newfoundland; the cod, 
and Southern fisheries ; and allowing Ireland to 



export woollens, in order to clothe the troops on 
the Irish establishment serving abroad. The mo- 
tion was supported by Mr. Fox, but was lost by 
100 to 173. 

At length, on the 13th, Lord North brought 
forward three propositions, for the export of glass, 
the export of woollen goods, and for a free 
trade with the British colonies in America, the 
West Indies, and the settlements in Africa, sub- 
ject to such limitations, restrictions, and duties, 
as the Parliament of Ireland should impose. 
These resolutions were adopted. 

On the 20th of December, Mr. Foster proposed, 
in the Irish House of Commons, two resolutions ; 
— 1st. That the exportation of its woollen and 
other manufactures would tend to relieve Ireland. 
2dly. That liberty to trade with the colonies in 
America and the West Indies, and the settle- 
ments in Africa, would be productive of great 
commercial benefits. These resolutions were 
unanimously adopted by the House, and were 
incorporated into the British Act which passed 
in the February of the ensuing year, and which 
allowed the trade of Ireland to be carried on in 
like manner as that with Great Britain. 

Mr. Foster, whose name is here alluded to, 
was a remarkable personage in Irish history. He 
came into Parliament at the close of the reign of 
George the Second. He was a useful public man, 
and a man of business, conversant with the affairs 




of Ireland, and well acquainted with her trade ; he 
was not indisposed to the interests of his country, 
and generally supported them ; though at an early 
period of his life, he had attached himself to the 
Government, and his connexion with the Court had 
led him to support their measures often with more 
zeal than patriotism. He feared the question of in- 
dependence, and he supported the Mutiny Bill. 
At first he opposed the amendment on free trade, 
but afterwards brought forward the resolutions that 
constituted the English Bill in favour of Ireland. 
On the subject of the Corn-laws he was of great 
use. In that respect he followed Lord Pery, the 
father of Irish agriculture. 

On the question of the commercial propositions 
in 1785 Foster acted well. Those that he pre- 
pared were good ; they were drawn up on an 
extensive scale, and showed an enlarged and 
capacious mind, and did him great honour. They 
were such as would have highly benefited his 

In 1784, Foster was chosen Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, and brought home to Ireland that 
office which before was held by an absentee. In 
1795 he was applied to, under Lord Fitzwilliam's 
administration, and was consulted, in preference to 
Mr. Beresford, or any other members of the pre- 
ceding Government ; for although Lord Fitz- 
william's party knew that he was not enamoured 
of public liberty, they placed reliance upon his 

CHAP. I.] 



knowledge, and his attachment to the interests of 
Ireland ; and the reason they sent for him was, 
that although he had been a courtier, they knew 
he was an Irishman, while others were the abject 
slaves of the British minister. 

At the head of the revenue department was 
Mr. Beresford, a sharp and quick-minded man, 
but devoid of public principle, and who, along 
with Lord Clare, introduced a policy quite new, 
and till then unpractised, and one that no man of 
spirit or principle would have resorted to ; — this 
was, always to support England against Ireland. 
This policy had not been resorted to by Malone, 
or Pery, or Flood. It was a base and mischievous 
policy, certain to lower the individual, and sink 
the nation ; and the worst part of this new system 
was, that it gave birth to a hungry class of men — 
individuals with large hands and open mouths, who 
grasped at every thing, and then reviled the 
country that fed them ; men of no principle, little 
talent, and much cunning, who would not have 
been tolerated in any country but Ireland. 

As a successor to Mr. Pery, (the Speaker,) in 
September, 1785, Mr. Foster appeared under con- 
siderable disadvantage. The regulations he made 
as to the galleries were considered arbitrary and 
partial. The galleries had been of use. The 
House of Commons is the property of the people, 
and they attend to observe the conduct of their 
representatives. In Ireland they applauded the 



[CHAP. I. 

patriot, but did not pay much attention to the 
courtier. When Mr. Burgh put a period to his 
official existence, by the splendid declaration he 
made in favour of the liberties of his country, the 
galleries applauded. In 1782, when Mr. Grattan 
asserted their liberties, they again applauded ; 
and their cheers animated the patriot, though they 
displeased the courtier. Mr. Foster took in the 
gallery ; he limited the space, and the weight of 
the people, and gave it to the followers of the 
castle : this was a public injury. 

With regard to the Catholics Mr. Foster was 
uniformly hostile ; and, at the period of the insur- 
rection, it is to be regretted that he did not listen 
to counsels more humane, and that he was influ- 
enced by others of an unrelenting and persecuting 
spirit. However, on the question of the Secret 
Committees, in 1798, it must be admitted, that 
where allusion was made to Mr. Grattan in the 
examination of the witnesses, Foster acted well ; 
he took care that his sentiments should be 
known ; and, subsequently, he stated, that he 
took no part in drawing up the report ; that 
" Lord Clare had behaved ill, and that it was a 
business of spleen and party" 

On the subject of the Union, Foster proved 
himself an Irishman. It might have told better 
for his fame, though fruitless to his country, if he 
had refused to put the question. 

After 1800, Foster appeared in the English 

CHAP. I.] 



Parliament. He succeeded Mr. Corry, and was 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and First Lord of 
the Treasury under Mr. Pitt. 

At the Union, Foster could have obtained almost 
anything he desired ; he might have made great 
terms for himself, and have got rid of all his in- 
cumbrances ; but he declined to do so, and pre- 
ferred public to private fortune. 

Abstinuit tactu pater, aversusque refugit 
Foeda minister ia. 

He avoided the ignominious task, and scorned to 
cheat Ireland for England. And most fortunate it 
was that he favoured her at that crisis ; for if he had 
been hostile, he might have injured her interests 
greatly. The statement he made of her trade was 
excellent, and his speech on that occasion was 
incomparable and unanswerable. But there his 
journey should have ended ; — that should have 
been his utmost sail. His resurrection was inglo- 
rious. The chair of the Irish House of Commons, 
that he for some time adorned, and so nobly de- 
fended, should have been his tomb. He made a 
brilliant set in Ireland, and should have descended 
amidst the rays of his country s glory. 

Government were now beginning to feel the 
effects of their mistaken policy in regard to 
Ireland. Involved in a colonial and a continental 
war, they found it difficult to prevent supplies of 
provisions from being transmitted to the enemy. 
The distresses of Ireland had driven men to avail 

VOL. II. c 



[CHAP. I. 

themselves of every means to repair their heavy 
losses ; and the extent and unprotected state of 
the coast facilitated so greatly the opportunity of 
evasion, that it could with difficulty be guarded 
against. The Governments of both kingdoms 
issued proclamations against the export of sup- 
plies and provisions ; but still they were sent by 
circuitous channels, and in many instances were 
supposed to have reached the enemy. 

In his letter to the Viceroy, the British minister 
reproved him for his statement respecting Ireland, 
in regard to these proceedings, which he termed 
"a dissolution of all government ;" forgetting that his 
own measures had been the cause of the evil; but 
very careful, at the same time, that his opposition 
to all constitutional measures of redress should be 
clearly understood. He found support for this 
part of his policy in the House of Commons ; and 
Mr. Conolly, a leading character in the country, 
interposed with his authority and influence, to 
restrain the rising spirit of the times. Mr. Conolly 
had been friendly to the extension of trade ; but 
he was connected with English families of rank 
and distinction, and was thereby led, in some 
degree, to think that the firmest link of connexion 
between the two countries was dependence, not 
liberty. Mr. Conolly was not, however, devoid 
of good Irish feelings ; he resided in the country ; 
he lived among the people. The splendour of his 
establishment at Castletown, his liberal dispo- 

CHAP. I ] 



sition, his entertainments and pursuits that were 
alike congenial to the habits and the taste of the 
gentry, together with the benevolence, the worth, 
the amiable mind and character of her who was 
his partner,* deservedly procured for him popu- 
larity, and gave him considerable weight in the 
councils of the State, and in the deliberations of 
the senate, so that he could influence, though he 
might not perhaps wisely or daringly advise. He 
feared the march of the people, and his mind was 
not prepared to throw off the yoke, nor yet ready 
for the constitutional advance which younger and 
more enthusiastic characters were desirous to 
accelerate. On the present occasion he was 
applied to by Government to interpose his autho- 
rity ; and he exerted himself on their behalf, as 
appears from the following letter : — 


Dublin Castle, 17///, February, 1780. 

My Lord, 

In my letter to your Lordship, of the 10th instant, I men- 
tioned that Sir Richard Johnston had given notice he 
should move a question, as on yesterday, upon Poyning's 

* This much esteemed person (Lady Louisa Conolly) was sister to 
the celebrated beauty Lady Sarah Napier, with whom George III. was 
said to have been deeply enamoured. They belonged to the house of 
Lennox, and resided much in Ireland, where they were not only admired 
but beloved, and from the highest in the court to the lowest in the 
cottage there prevailed but one feeling of regard towards the members 
of this worthy family ; their charitable disposition left behind its highest 
praise — si quaris monumentum, circumspice ! 

c 2 



[CHAP. I. 

law, and that Sir William Osborne had declared his inten- 
tion to move a question upon that part of the British Act 
which restrained the import of glass into Ireland from any- 
other country than Great Britain, but that it was appre- 
hended their motions would not be made according to the 

Agreeable to that supposition, Sir Richard Johnston 
mentioned on Tuesday, that he should leave his motion 
relative to Poyning's law to another member of greater 
abilities, to propose on a future day. 

And Sir William Osborne yesterday, when the house 
was thin, rose to postpone his motion relative to the British 
Glass Act, mentioning his hopes that the conduct of the 
British Parliament would make it unnecessary. Sir Wil- 
liam contends that the above mentioned Act should be 
repealed, not in part but in toto. 

Mr. Conolly, upon this, stood forward with great zeal, 
energy and firmness, declaring that all questions which had 
a tendency to prevent the perfect good understanding and 
union of the two kingdoms, ought to be postponed till the 1st 
of August. He added that at a time when we were con- 
tending with powerful enemies, the minds of men were not 
sufficiently cool to undertake an alteration in the constitution ; 
that he did not doubt but that there were many points in 
which both the constitution of this and the mother country 
might be mended, but that times of peace were the proper 
ones for those purposes ; that if such questions were proper 
in the present session, this was the time for bringing them 
forward, according to the notice which had been given to 
the House, and not when addresses and instructions had been 
prepared in the country by those whom too many in the House 
endeavoured to inflame. 

Mr. Grattan followed Mr. Conolly, and said that this was 
the time for constitutional relief, when commercial relief 

CHAP. I.] 



had been obtained, and that when Great Britain was at 
war, advantages for Ireland were to be looked for ; but that 
it was necessary for members to wait for the opinion of 
their constituents, in all constitutional matters, and that 
no man should hazard the brino-ins; on a constitutional 
question of such magnitude, without being assured that it 
was the general sense of the public. The House then ad- 
journed till to day. 

I shall hope to receive the act for carrying into execu- 
tion the third resolution of the British House of Commons, 
before the Parliament here shall adjourn for the circuits, 
so as to found upon it such an address to his Majesty from 
both houses, as shall defeat the plan of opposition to obtain 
instructions, Sec. And if that opportunity does not offer, 
I shall endeavour to find some other, for the House of 
Commons to express their disapprobation of such proceed- 
ings, and their attachment to Great Britain. 

In the House of Lords, on Tuesday last, Lord Carysfort 
gave notice that he should bring on his motion for leave 
to bring in heads of a bill for regulating the army on 
Monday next, which will I apprehend be rejected with little 
difficulty; and the heads of the Nullum Tempus Bill 
went through the committee without opposition. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



St. James s, 22nd February, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have received the honour of your Excellency's despatch 
of the 17th instant, and at the same time under another 
cover an account of exports of provisions from the port of 
Cork from the month of September to the 14th of this 
month, together with copy of a letter from Mr. Davis to Sir 
Richard Heron. 



[chap I. 

The king sees with concern that any member of the 
House of Commons intends at so delicate and critical a 
time as this is, to agitate in Parliament questions that may 
in their consequence interrupt the harmony and affection 
between Great Britain and Ireland, which his Majesty 
wishes to strengthen and increase by every means in his 
power. I have the greatest pleasure in acquainting your 
Excellency that Mr. Conolly's zeal to co-operate with this 
desirable purpose, expressed with so much energy and 
firmness in the House of Commons, is very satisfactory and 
acceptable to his Majesty. 

The Irish Trade Bill went through the Committee of the 
House of Lords this day, and two or three days more will 
enable me to transmit it to your Excellency as a British 
Act of Parliament, which I trust and hope will give com- 
plete satisfaction to the kingdom of Ireland ; a few days 
will also enable me to return the Dissenters' Bill, as I 
understand it will pass the Council here without alteration. 
This Bill will give satisfaction to a considerable body of 
His Majesty's subjects, who on many accounts deserve his 
royal attention. 

I think it almost impossible that the Bill intended to be 
brought in by Lord Carysfort, for regulating the army, 
should pass the House of Lords, as it cannot answer any 
good purpose whatever, and is big with the greatest mis- 
chiefs. What your Excellency mentions with regard to 
Sir William Osborne's wishes relative to the Glass Act, I 
will not fail to mention in the proper place, but rather fear 
it will be too late. 

I am, &c. 


It would be unjust to say that there was any 
want of gratitude for favours conferred, or indif 

CHAP. I.] 



ference for concessions obtained, still less any- 
national antipathy in the minds of the people of 
Ireland at this period ; but the extension of trade 
and the repeal of the restrictive laws (like many 
other measures subsequently passed) came too 
late, and not till the country had gone through 
depths of misery ; they were procured with so 
much difficulty, and after such obstinate political 
struggles, that those who were gainers almost 
considered themselves victors in a just war, 
rather than rivals in a civic contest — that they 
were indebted for success solely to their own 
virtue, and when the balance had been turned, 
it was after iron had been added to the gold by 
their imperious masters, and thrown into the scale 
to make it preponderate against the rights and 
liberties of their country ; thus it was that appre- 
hension of insecurity caused the volunteers to press 
for ulterior measures, instead of resting satisfied 
with commercial acquisitions. 

Every effort was now made to signalize the 
event of passing the Free Trade Bill, which had 
received the royal assent in England in the month 
of February. Government circulated the Act 
throughout all parts of the country, and the civic 
authorities in Dublin issued orders for an illumina- 
tion in honour of their success. The joy was 
general, but it was viewed very differently by the 
two contending parties — the ministers and the 
people. The former had been led by their 


Attorney General, (Mr. Scott) to believe that 
Ireland would ask for nothing more, and would 
rest content with commercial acquisitions ; Go- 
vernment accordingly flattered themselves with 
the hope that this would be a final measure, and 
give not merely general satisfaction, but would 
ensure silence and give future repose to Ireland. 
The sentiments of the Viceroy appear in the follow- 
ing letter ; and the events that ensued will show 
how much he miscalculated. 


Dublin Castle, March 2, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Late on Tuesday night I received by Heslop, the messen- 
ger, the honour of your Lordship's letter of the 24th past, 
signifying that his Majesty had been pleased, on that day, 
to go in person to Parliament, to give his Royal Assent to 
an Act to allow the trade between Ireland and the British 
Colonies, &c, and enclosing to me twelve printed copies of 
the Act. This fresh instance of his Majesty's paternal 
regard to the welfare and interests of his Majesty's sub- 
jects of this kingdom, claims from them the liveliest senti- 
ments of gratitude, and it is with great pleasure I acquaint 
your Lordship, for his Majesty's information, that so soon 
yesterday as this event was made known to the House of 
Commons, it was received with the warmest and most 
cordial acknowledgments of his Majesty's goodness, with 
thanks to his ministers, and the most affectionate expres- 
sion towards the parliament and people of Great Britain. 

A resolution for an address to his Majesty, of which I 
herewith transmit a copy to your Lordship, was moved by 

CHAP. I.] 



Mr. Daly, and seconded by Mr. Ogle, and unanimously 
agreed to by the House in the handsomest manner. 

This day, a resolution for an address to his Majesty was 
moved in the House of Lords, by his Grace the Duke of 
Leinster, a copy of which I have the honour to inclose 
herewith to your Lordship. 

Lord Farnham seconded his Grace's motion with great 
zeal and propriety, when Lord Carysfort, after a long 
speech, in which his Lordship went through all the topics 
of opposition respecting the Constitution, moved to amend 
the resolution by expunging the words scored under, and 
declared his intention, if the address were carried in the 
form as presented to the House, that he should use the 
privilege of a Peer, and enter his Protest. 

His Lordship was answered by the Duke of Leinster, 
Lord Desart, Lord Roden, Lord Annaly, and the Arch- 
bishop of Cashel, when Lord Mountmorris rose in support 
of the amendment, and declared his intention of joining in 
the protest. His Lordship was answered with great ability 
by the Lord Chancellor, and I should not do justice to the 
Duke of Leinster, who closed the debate, if I did not 
mention the very spirited manner in which his Grace 
exerted himself in support of the passage proposed to be 

He said the words expressed his real sentiments ; that 
the Addresses of the two Houses of Parliament, at the 
opening of the session, respected commerce only, and that 
Great Britain had done every thing for Ireland on that 
head, which was just and liberal. That with respect to 
constitutional questions, he was ready to meet them when 
they should be proposed. That he was of opinion some 
alterations which had been mentioned, alluding, as was 
supposed, to Poyning's law, would injure the constitution, 
but that he did not think this a proper time for agitating 



[CHAP. I. 

such questions. He said he had been long enough a slave 
to popularity, he had no idea of constitutional questions 
being forced by the bayonet, nor could he approve of their 
being agitated in the assemblies of the city, whose proper 
subjects would be the improvement of the trade which had 
been granted to this kingdom. Upon the question being 
put, whether the paragraph should stand part of the reso- 
lution, the numbers were 

Contents, below the bar * . . 36 

Not Contents in the house ........ 5 

Contents, with the proxies ...... 46 

Not Contents 8 

Tellers, for the Contents, Lord Farnham. 

For Non Contents, Lord Carysfort. 
The Lords in the minority were, Lord Charlemont, Lord 
Arran, Lord Mountmorris, Lord Aylmer,and Lord Powers- 

The addresses are to be presented to me to-morrow, and 
shall be immediately despatched from hence by the English 

I have taken particular care to make this Act as public 
as possible throughout this kingdom, but at the instance 
of the Lord Mayor of this city, the public rejoicings and 
illuminations intended to celebrate the arrival of this Act, 
were postponed to this evening, in order that they might 
be as general as possible. 

I shall immediately communicate to His Majesty's con- 
fidential servants here what has been represented to your 
Lordship by the Chevalier de Pinto, the envoy from Portu- 
gal, respecting the duty upon wines from that kingdom, and 
will not fail to have the subject fully considered, before the 
House of Commons here goes into the Committee of 

I have the honour to be, &c. 




The people of Ireland, though gratified by the 
acquisitions they had obtained, saw, however, that 
they had no security for their trade, and that a 
British law had passed in which they were taxed 
without their consent ; for such was the tax on tea, 
which was complained of by Mr. Grattan, in the 
House of Commons ; they knew that although a 
British Act might pass in their favour, yet the 
power which made that law could unmake it at 
pleasure ; so they declared in their various resolu- 
tions adopted by county meetings, grand juries, 
and volunteer associations, that Ireland should be 
bound only by laws which she herself made ; and 
they called for a modification of Poyning's law, 
and a repeal of the Gth George I., the Act which 
declared the dependency of Ireland. 

Early in the ensuing session, Mr. Grattan gave 
notice, that he would move for a Declaration of 
Irish Rights. This measure alarmed the Castle, 
and every effort was made to stop the growth of 
popular feeling. The Government proceeded to 
canvass against the Declaration of Rights, and 
the repeal of Poyning's law. They tried the 
pliancy of the Lords, and here they found mate- 
rials for their purpose. On the 1st March, the 
Duke of Leinster moved an address of thanks to 
the King for the Act which had just been passed 
in England, stating " that they would discourage 
and defeat every attempt which misguided men 
may make towards raising ' groundless jealousies' 



[CHAP. I. 

in the mindsof the people, and diverting their atten- 
tion from commercial advantages;" and in debate 
several members severely commented upon the 
conduct of the people and the volunteers, and the 
proceedings at the county meetings. A motion 
was made to expunge the obnoxious paragraph, 
but was rejected by 46 to 8. A spirited Protest, 
however, was entered into, stating " that this 
paragraph, supported as it was by the Govern- 
ment party, tended to shake the sentiments of 
gratitude and affection, by manifesting to the 
people that their legal and temperate proceedings 
were beheld by Government with a jealous eye ; 
and might create a suspicion, that those commer- 
cial advantages were held out with an intention to 
seduce them into a dereliction of their constitu- 
tional claims; and that if ' the groundless jealousies' 
meant the resolutions entered into in different 
parts of the kingdom, they conceived it was the 
undoubted right of the electors to instruct their 
representatives, and that this House could not, 
without violating the fundamental principles of the 
Constitution, interfere between the people and 
the House of Commons." This was signed by 
Charlemont, Moira, and five other Peers. 

The King's answer to this address of the Lords 
re-echoed its sentiments, with the ill-timed addi- 
tion, that their " just and proper declaration as 
to * groundless jealousies,' could not fail to be 
acceptable to his Majesty." 



In the House of Commons, however, Govern- 
ment was not so successful. Mr. Foster having 
reported to the House that the King had given 
his assent to the Bill extending the Irish trade, 
Mr. Daly, on the 2nd of March, moved an address 
of thanks to his Majesty, merely " expressive of 
the grateful sense the House entertained of the 
liberal participation granted to the kingdom in the 
trade of Great Britain, and to assure his Majesty 
of the unshaken loyalty of his faithful Commons." 
Mr. Daly no further alluded to the volunteers 
than to say, that as they were not subject to the 
Government, such an army could not but be 
looked on with considerable jealousy. 

The members who had supported the popular 
measures in the House of Commons received the 
thanks of the volunteers, of the corporations, and 
of various county and town meetings. Mr. Burgh, 
Mr. Yelverton, Mr. Daly, Lord Charlemont, Mr. 
Grattan, and other members of Parliament, in 
their replies, availed themselves of the opportu- 
nity to communicate to the people a constitutional 
spirit, and an exhortation legally to persevere in 
their exertions to obtain their legitimate rights ; 
so that the efforts on the part of the Government 
to suppress the popular feeling had an effect 
directly the reverse of that which was intended. 

Mr. Grattan, having received the freedom of 
the Guild of Merchants for his conduct in Par- 
liament, alluded in his reply to the proceedings 



[CHAP. I. 

in the Lords, stated that " the late defiance 
thrown out to the subjects of this country, con- 
taining an indirect aspersion of their constitutional 
proceedings, and a weak effort to deter them from 
securing liberty, should incite you the more to 
insist on the two great measures you have in con- 
templation. I conceive these to be the ultimatum 
of Ireland." 

These measures were, the modification of the 
law of Poynings, and securing the country against 
the illegal claims of the British Parliament ; and 
accordingly he pledged himself to bring forward, 
after the recess, a declaration of the Rights of 

The view which his Majesty and the British 
minister took of these proceedings, and which was 
so unfavourable for the liberties of his Irish sub- 
jects, will be seen from the following letter of Lord 
Hillsborough to the Lord Lieutenant, where he 
intimates the commands of the King, to stop in 
Council the transmission of the measures pro- 
posed by the Commons. A proceeding of this 
sort, so unconstitutional, so harsh, and so tyran- 
nical, fully justified the remark made by Lord 
Camden to Lord Charlemont, in 1782, when, com- 
paring the situation of Ireland to that of America, 
he observed, that " America had been lost by bad 
governors, and the fate of Ireland might be 

CHAP. I.] 




St. James's, March 28, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour to enclose to your Excellency the King's 
answers to the addresses of both Houses of Parliament to 
his Majesty. These addresses, as I before mentioned to 
your Excellency, were both graciously received by the 
King; but you will easily observe, that the last paragraph 
of the Lords' address, which is so clear and explicit with 
regard to their intentions, has been particularly pleasing to 
his Majesty. I hope, however, the difference between the 
two addresses is a difference in style only, not in senti- 
ment; but if I should be mistaken, and there should be 
any latent design of making attacks upon the Constitution, 
or any intention farther to delay the granting- of the sup- 
plies in the usual manner, his Majesty and this country 
will surely have reason to complain, that they have been 
disappointed in the expectations they had a right to form, 
of a proper return for the great advantages granted to 

If this should be the case, the King, with the unani- 
mous advice of his confidential servants, has commanded 
me to signify to your Excellency, that it is expected from 
you, that you do oppose and resist any such attacks in 
every stage of their progress, in order to prevent, if pos- 
sible, any propositions for innovations upon, or alterations 
in, the Constitution, from being transmitted to this country. 

I am, &c. 




Feelings of the various parties on the subject of the Declaration of 
Rights. — Mr. John Forbes. — His conduct and character. — Mr. Flood. 
- — His conduct on this great question. — Anecdotes of him. — Mr. 
Grattan's conduct. — Attempts to dissuade him from moving the De- 
claration of Rights. — Application from Edmund Burke. — Lord 
Chariemont's proper conduct. — Dean Swift. — Vanessa's Bower. — 
Mr.Grattan retires to his uncle Marlay at Celbridge Abbey. — Descrip- 
tion of the spot. — Verses upon it by Mr.Grattan. — His account of the 
motion. — Lord Lieutenant's letters of the 12th and 19th of April re- 
specting Mr. Yelverton's motion on Poyning's Law ; and Mr. Bushe's 
on the Mutiny Bill. — Mr. Grattan's resolutions declaring the rights of 
Ireland. — Skill of Mr. Burgh on that occasion. — Lord Lieutenant's 
letters of 20th and 21st April containing an account of the Debate. 

The debates and discussions in a writ of Parlia- 
ment, and the various proceedings connected with 
carrying the measure of free trade had given 
new life to the people; they began to awaken, 
and the country became, in some degree, roused 
to a sense of her situation ; men at last thought 
they had a country ; but the upper classes still 
remained cautious and timid. By the aid, how- 
ever, of the patriotic party in Dublin, resolu- 
tions and addresses were circulated through the 
country. Mr. Grattan drew up several, and they 
were proposed at the respective meetings by the vo- 
lunteers. The high principle and sentiment which 



they breathed, the temperate and firm tone in 
which they spoke to the people, diffused a national 
spirit throughout all classes. Men now wondered 
at their former tameness and systematic depres- 
sion ; they, at length, dared to think they be- 
longed to a nation, and that their country should 
be free. 

When these virtuous sentiments had taken root 
and spread around, Mr. Grattan thought the sea- 
son had arrived for bringing on the question of 
independence. But here he found all his party 
opposed to him. They all censured him for his 
rashness and imprudence. Messrs. Burgh, Daly, 
Ogle, Pery, and the Ponsonbys, were adverse : 
they could not be seduced, but they were mollified 
and afraid. Lord Charlemont, too, was rather 
timid; but he evinced a delicacy on the occasion 
which well became him, and for which he deserved 
great credit; for he did not, like the rest, seek to 
dissuade Mr. Grattan from bringing forward the 
question, he only recommended him to consider 
it well ; he thought the measure too bold, and the 
country not yet ripe for it. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon, though he had been friendly to 
free trade, was hostile to the question of independ- 
ence. Some had offered to oppose the measure ; 
many had yielded; and the Government had nearly 
softened them all ; so that they would have re- 
mained satisfied with the measures the country 
had got ; for they had gained great credit by them, 

vol. n. D 




and they feared to risk their reputation, and put 
to sea again on such a stormy ocean. 

The efforts of the Lord Lieutenant were stre- 
nuous ; the orders from England imperative ; 
" obstare in limine," was the principle to be 
adopted, — if necessary, to be acted on, and if an 
opening was afforded, to be enforced with every 
severity. The commands from St. James's, as 
the letters of the ministers show, were to resist 
every alteration in the constitution, and not even 
to transmit any such bills to England. 

In the midst of this political chaos, one man 
remained unmoved, unterrified, undaunted — 
John Forbes; — he was stedfast and inflexible from 
first to last ; — he stood by the principle through- 
out; and when the question came on, he de- 
livered one of the best speeches on the occasion. 
This individual was incorruptible; he was one of 
the most amiable and estimable of men ; mild and 
gentle in his nature and in his manners, but firm 
and honest of purpose. He was offered place, 
and he refused it. He supported all the ques- 
tions regarding Irish freedom with great ability. 
He proposed the Place-Bill and the Pension-Bill. 
By the latter he limited the pensions to 80,000/., 
and thereby restrained the extravagant proceed- 
ings of the Government, whose excesses had 
been very great, and who found themselves 
much straitened by this salutary measure. He 
served the people faithfully, and his name should 




be prized by every lover of liberty. Late in 
life, Mr. Forbes accepted a situation in New 
Providence, though offered a more lucrative one 
at home by Lord Camden in 1796. But he pre- 
ferred that, with lesser emolument, because it 
lay abroad, and he could not then be asked 
to act against his principles. He declined to 
accept any office in Ireland, although the only 
condition required was, that he should not sit 
or vote in Parliament. 

Government now resorted to every engine that 
could influence, persuade, or allay. Mr. Flood, 
however, stood too high to make any terms with 
Government, or abandon such a question. His 
great name, his commanding position, and his 
splendid abilities, would of themselves have pre- 
vented him from making any compromise of the 
question of right ; but he wanted boldness to 
support it manfully. When it came forward, he 
spoke for it, but it was in a subdued manner; he 
lamented the question had been brought on, and 
accused the proposer of precipitation ; he said 
that the people ought to stop ; that they had done 
the country great good, and that he would say 
something "valedictory" to the volunteers ; — such 
was the expression, which, in fact, amounted to a 
civil way of sending them about their business. 

At this time Mr. Flood held office, and was 
almost the last of the leaders of the party who 
appeared in the House in volunteer uniform. 

d 2 




His long habits of connexion with Government 
clogged his efforts, and office impeded his pro- 
gress towards the people. He had partly gone 
over to the Government, although he did not 
stand in need of money, and he did not go over 
to the people, who stood in need of liberty. In 
short, he would neither sail with the people, 
nor plunge with the Government. 

The rest of the party, too, were deterred, some 
by influence, others by threats, and many by 
offers and blandishments held out to them, of 
every kind and description, — title, place, and 
pension. At length, recourse was had to Edmund 
Burke: even he had been applied to; and he 
had written to Ireland, condemning these ex- 
tremes, as they were called, and advising them to 
stop Mr. Grattan : — " Will no one speak to this 
madman? Will no one stop this madman, Grattan V 9 

Such were the feelings and expressions of Mr. 
Burke, who, though an Irishman, spoke in the 
phraseology of what he called his " better and his 
adopted country /" Such was the language applied 
to those who struggled for the liberties of their 
country ! 

All this was not very noble, though, perhaps, it 
may be considered natural ; for Ireland had been 
so deeply injured, that men were afraid, if she 
took redress into her own hands, she would ex- 
ceed the bounds of moderation, and then the 
overwhelming power of England would have 



borne down upon her with unrelenting severity ; 
— such had been the fears and such the opinions 
of men in former days, and in particular of An- 
thony Malone, whose prudence and foresight 
were remarkable and unerring. Mr. Grattan was 
then very young, and not connected with any 
Government ; he knew the Lord Lieutenant very 
little, and was not long experienced in politics; 
he had not the practice of years, nor was he 
versed in the state mysteries of colonial diplo- 
macy ; he had no train of followers, or powerful 
family connexions, to influence the minister, or 
turn the balance in favour of the people, on a 
Parliamentary division ; he stood single, and was 
not dependent upon either party. The Irish 
people, too, had been so often sold, and so often 
deceived, that they were naturally afraid, and 
knew not whom to trust. They did not place 
implicit credence in political miracles, or believe 
that even in a holy cause, and armed with the 
simplest weapons, any youth could go forth and 
overcome Goliath. Accordingly, his friends re- 
presented to him the danger of his undertaking; 
that he would risk all the country had gotten ; 
that commerce had been obtained, large profits 
had been made, and that the mere form of liberty 
would never be wrested from England ; that the 
result of his plan would be, to let loose an Irish 
army upon the country, and they would seek to 
resume all the forfeited lands. Such, in particu- 



[chap. II. 

lar, were Mr. Fitzgibbon's apprehensions and 

These statements were plausible ; and for men 
educated in provincial subjection, they were, in 
some degree, natural, though not excusable ; 
evincing a timid disposition, and almost showing 
that men considered commerce as the substance, 
and liberty as the shadow. Finding, however, that 
they did not prevail, they resorted to Lord Pery, 
as a man in whose opinion the greatest confidence 
was placed ; and he applied to Lord Charlemont 
to speak to Mr. Grattan, and persuade him to 
go no further in the business. 

Such a step would have increased the difficulties 
of the case, for Mr. Grattan sat for the borough 
of which Lord Charlemont was the proprietor, 
and it would have been difficult to act against the 
request of his patron, supported as he then was 
by the opinion of the party, and of Mr. Grattan's 
personal friends ; and if he was obliged to vacate 
his seat, he might not have found it easy to get 
another. But the delicate mind of Lord Charle- 
mont, united with his national sentiments and his 
patriotic feelings, prevailed, and the application 
was not made. Mr. Grattan, however, having dis- 
covered the intention of making it, left Dublin to 
avoid importunities, and secluded himself at Cel- 
bridge Abbey. There he consulted his old friend 
and relation, Colonel Marlay, whose understand- 
ing was strong, and whose mind was not chained 


19th april, 1780. 


down by the fetters which bound his countrymen, 
or narrowed by the habits of provincial education, 
but who possessed the spirit of a freeman and 
the directness of a soldier. By him Mr. Grattan 
was encouraged to go on ; he was told that he 
was in the right, and that his friends were mis- 
taken, and that he should not mind them ; and as 
he himself has often said, — " Along the banks of 
that river, amid the groves and bowers of Swift 
and Vanessa, I grew convinced that I was right ; 
arguments, unanswerable, came to my mind, and 
what I then prepared, confirmed me in my deter- 
mination to persevere ; a great spirit arose among 
the people, and the speech which I delivered 
afterwards in the House, communicated its fire 
aud impelled them on ; the country caught the 
flame, and it rapidly extended. I was supported 
by eighteen counties, by the grand jury addresses, 
and the resolutions of the volunteers. I stood upon 
that ground, and was determined never to yield. I 
brought on the question the 19th April, 1780. — 
That was a great day for Ireland — that day gave 
her liberty /" 

Such were the sentiments that influenced him 
on this occasion — and such his expressions. This 
speech Mr. Grattan always considered to have 
been the best he ever delivered ; far superior to 
any he subsequently made in England. Those 
who heard him on that occasion have assured me 
that it astonished the audience by its fire, its 




rapidity, the elevated style, the commanding 
eloquence, and spirit-stirring subject; it was 
delivered with a great volume of voice, in a 
manner very effective, though very singular. " I 
was lost in admiration," said one of the auditors ; 
" he spoke as if inspired.'" 

May such ever be the offspring of noble minds, 
and such the success of generous and virtuous 
efforts made in the cause of freedom and their 
country ! 

As allusion has been made to the place which 
at this period of his life Mr. Grattan was so 
fond of frequenting, it may not perhaps appear 
far-fetched or inappropriate to indulge in a few 
sentences on its description. The regard he enter- 
tained for its proprietor, (Colonel Marlay,) induced 
him frequently to visit this spot ; and his attach- 
ment to the country, his love of rural scenery, 
often guided his steps thither, where he found 
his literary recollections revived, and the history 
of his country, associated with the name of Swift, 
whose Irish spirit he used to admire, though not 
his tory principles. These various impressions 
caused him to entertain a great attachment for the 
Abbey at Celbridge ; its calm retirement — its 
green retreat — its lofty trees — its shady walks — 
the smooth and sloping banks of the Liffey— 
and, in particular, the Bower of Vanessa — seemed 
to have a peculiar charm, and to inspire him 
with a sentimental patriotism ; it was situated on 


Vanessa's bower. 


a small island, formed by a branch of the river, 
below a picturesque narrow bridge, of Irish an- 
tiquity, which was overhung with ivy, and stretched 
its lofty arches across the water above that se- 
cluded spot. A mass of evergreens and laurel, 
mixed with yew and box-trees, and solemn cy- 
press, shaded the place, and rendered it almost 
impervious to the rays of the sun ; roses, jessa- 
mine, and honeysuckle, entwined the classic 
bower, and the green around was covered with 
flowers of all hues. 

The rathe primrose, that forsaken dies; 

The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, 

The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet ; 

The glowing violet, — 

The musk rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine, — 
With cowslips wan, that hang the pensive head. 

This was the favourite spot to which Mr. Grattan 
loved to retire ; there he used to read, and com- 
pose, and meditate upon his country's wrongs — 
thinking upon the spirit of those who were no 
more, but who had left a hallowed influence 
around, and that undying love of liberty " which 
was, and is, and is to come." On the day that 
Ireland regained her freedom, he invoked the 
name of its ancient inhabitant, and at the com- 
mencement of his splendid speech he exclaims, 
"Spirit of MolyneiLv ! Spirit of Swift! your genius 
has prevailed ! Ireland is now a nation /" 


Vanessa's bower. 

[chap. II. 

On the death of Colonel Marlay, the place des- 
cended to his brother, the Dean, afterwards Bishop 
of Clonfert. Some alterations having been made 
in the grounds, Mr. Grattan took umbrage at the 
sanctity of this spot being rudely invaded, and 
was said to have addressed the following remon- 
strance to the proprietor : 

Vanessa's bower to dean marlay. 

Oh, thou ! too prompt at fickle fashion's call, 

For the sloped bank to change the useful wall; 

To break those clumps that in meet order stand, 

Planted by ancient skill's exactest hand, 

To mock the true old beauties of my isle 

With the forced fiction of yon Gothic pile. 

Oh, born like Swift to head this sylvan scene, 

Like him to live a wit, and die a Dean ! 

Check here, at least, thy innovating haste, 

Stop here at least thy fopperies of taste : 

Know, more than beauty pleads for this retreat, 

And sacred spirits guard my ivied seat. 

Here the stern satirist and the witty maid 

Talked pretty love, nor yet profaned the shade. 

Nor think, dear Dean, you can protect too well 

Shades which see nought, or, seeing, nought will tell. 

Here too, his nobler leisure to attend, 

Ierne's genius met her earliest friend, 

Long ere she hoped to break her iron chain, 

Or dreamt of Freedom's law, or Portland's reign. 

Oh ! spare those shades where our first poet sung ; 

Each vagrant bough with sacred wreaths is hung. 

So may each new vicissitude of taste 

Spare thy trim lawns nor leave thy flowers to waste. 

May sportive statesmen hoe the walks you've made, 

And more than mortal* beauty grace thy shade. 

* This was almost realized on the visit of the Duchess of Rutland. 


The following letters will show what steps the 
liberal party were taking on this occasion, and 
what the Government. They discover the real sen- 
timents of the British minister and of the Viceroy, 
and how fixed their determination was to oppose 
every measure which could tend to relax the severity 
of the laws that bound the people of Ireland. That 
fatal style of characterising every effort of Ireland 
to procure freedom or equality, by the invidious 
terms of "innovation" "revolution" and "rebel/ion" 
impressed the minds of the people with feelings 
most unfavourable to British rule or government, 
and at a subsequent period of her history, 
drove men into the extremes they most depre- 
cated, and into the ranks of the party they were 
least inclined to join. 


Dublin Castle, April 2, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have this day received the honour of your Lordship's 
letter of the 28th past, inclosing His Majesty's most 
gracious answers to the addresses of the two Houses of 
Parliament of this kingdom ; which shall be communicated 
to them respectively upon their meeting next week, and 
cannot fail of o-ivino- the greatest satisfaction. From the 
time it was first apprehended that propositions for innova- 
tions upon the constitution of this country were under con- 
sideration, and intended to be attempted, I thought it my 
indispensable duty, and accordingly laid it down as my 
peculiar object, to exert every power of Government to 



resist such a dangerous attack; and I flatter myself that no 
doubt can be entertained of my using every means, in 
every stage of its progress, to prevent any propositions 
of that sort from being transmitted to Great Britain. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, April 12, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I am to acquaint your Lordship that yesterday Mr.Grattan 
gave notice in the House of Commons, that on Wednesday 
next he will move resolutions declaratory of the rights of 
Ireland. Upon which I shall only observe, that your 
Lordship may be assured that every effort shall be exerted 
to resist this and every improper measure, 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, April 14, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Mr. Yelverton gave notice yesterday to the House of 
Commons, that he would on Monday se'nnight bring on 
the question respecting Poyning's Law, and the House 
having to-day entered into the business of the supply, the 
committee resolved that a supply be granted to His Majesty 
for eighteen months, from the 24th of June, 1780, to the 
25th of December, 1781, inclusive. 

They also came to the same resolutions as in the last 
session respecting the army, and to several resolutions for 
private grants, usually made in the committee of supply, 




after which the committee adjourned to Monday next, to 
take into consideration the quantum of the supply to be 
granted to His Majesty. Some gentlemen, perhaps with a 
view to annual parliaments, pressed that the first resolution 
might be adjourned to Monday, but it being insisted that 
the committee should proceed to-day, their opposition was 
given up. As this resolution will bring back the supplies 
to the usual term of two years, it puts an end to the 
attempt of repeating the expedient of short money bills, or 
the idea of annual parliaments. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, April 19, 1780. 

My Lord, 

After the report of the committee of supply had been 
received and agreed to yesterday in the House of Commons, 
which was not until near six o'clock, after which time no 
new business was expected, and the number which had 
been in the House considerably reduced, Mr. Bushe desired 
Sir Richard Heron would inform the House whether he 
proposed that such laws as remained upon the Statute 
Book of Great Britain, restraining the commerce of Ire- 
land, should be enacted by the Irish Parliament. Sir 
Richard Heron mentioned he had not prepared, nor had 
any intention of bringing in, bills for that purpose- Mr. 
Bushe then moved for leave to bring in heads of a Bill to 
prohibit the exportation of rams, lambs, or sheep, alive. 
Also for leave to bring in heads of a Bill to prohibit the 
importation of wrought silks, Bengals, and stuffs mixed 
with silk, as also muslins and other calicoes, of the manu- 
facture of Persia, China, or East India, except from Great 
Britain ; — which being agreed to by the House, he moved 



[chap. II. 

for leave to bring in heads of a Bill for the Punishment of 
Mutiny and Desertion, and for the better payment of the 
Army and their Quarters. 

The Attorney-General opposed the motion ; he said it 
was unexpected, and the House surprised ; that this bill 
was of a very different nature from the other two he had 
mentioned, — that it included a question of the greatest mag- 
nitude, — that it interfered with his Majesty's power over the 
army, and as the agitation of it might produce the most 
fatal consequences, and a similar bill had been negatived 
in the House of Lords, he desired it might be withdrawn ; 
to which a dissent appearing, he requested that at least it 
might be postponed ; and that if it were pressed then, he 
should oppose it to the utmost of his power. Mr. Bushe 
persisted in his motion ; upon which, Mr. Foster having 
remarked on the lateness of the hour, the thinness of the 
House, and the unexpected introduction of the motion, 
and many gentlemen having declared that they could not 
give it a negative, he put the question of adjournment. 

This brought on a long debate, in which Mr. Fosters 
motion was supported with great spirit and zeal by the 
Attorney-General, Mr. Conolly, Mr. Beresford, and Mr. 
Toler, who were opposed by Mr. Bushe, Mr. Daly, and 
Mr. Hussey Burgh. Many other gentlemen spoke on the 
side of Government. On a division, the numbers for the 
adjournment were 65 : Against it 52 — Majority 13. 

I think it my duty to observe to your lordship, that in 
the present temper and circumstances of the nation, many 
of the friends of Government, who have declared their 
apprehensions of the absolute necessity of such a measure, 
seem inclined to support this motion whenever it shall 
again be introduced ; so that I am apprehensive the oppo- 
sition which I shall most certainly make to it, will be in- 


19th april, 1780. 


It was mentioned by some friends of Government, 
amongst whom was General Cuningbame, that it became 
absolutely necessary something should be settled on this 
subject, to prevent the danger which may arise from doubts 
in the army, and the disinclination in magistrates to en- 
force the Act of Mutiny, which some, it was alleged, had 
refused to do, and which your lordship will find, by Mr. 
Meredyth's letter of the 8th of April to Sir Stanier Porten, 
to have been the case ; and it was said, that the most ad- 
visable manner would be by a short act, declaring that the 
British Act of Mutiny and Desertion should be an Irish 

As this subject is of so very important a nature, both in 
its principles and consequences, I should deem myself un- 
pardonable, were I to conceal from your lordship what 
appears to be the sense of gentlemen upon it; and even of 
many of those who are most zealous in the support of his 
Majesty's Government. 

I shall on my part strictly adhere to what / know to be 
the sense of his Majesty, and the sense of his Majesty's confi- 
dential servants, that all the opposition which can be given 
shall be made, in every stage of the progress upon this busifiess. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


P. S. — I shall immediately summon a meeting to take 
into consideration the subject of Mr. Bushe's motion; the 
result of which meeting shall be immediately communi- 
cated to your lordship, and Mr. Bushe may probably be 
induced to defer any further proceedings until I hear from 
your lordship. 

At length the day arrived — (the 19th of April, 
1780) — that auspicious day for Ireland's fame— 




when the most important question ever agitated 
in Ireland, or, indeed, ever proposed in any- 
country, and which for 140 years had lain dor- 
mant, was brought forward by Mr. Grattan, who 
concluded a speech of nearly two hours, by the 
three following Resolutions, — the first of which 
was proposed from the Chair. 
" Resolved, 

" That His most excellent Majesty, by and 
with the consent of the Lords and Commons of 
Ireland, are the only power competent to enact 
laws to bind Ireland. 

" 2. That the Crown of Ireland is and ought to 
be inseparably annexed to the Crown of Great 

" 3. That Great Britain and Ireland are insepa- 
rably united under one sovereign, under the com- 
mon and indissoluble ties of interest, loyalty, and 

Mr. Grattan was seconded by Mr. Robert 
Stewart, father of the late Lord Castlereagh, and 
was strongly opposed by Mr. Scott, the Attorney- 
General (who moved an adjournment of the ques- 
tion till the 1st September next,) and by Mr. 
Foster, and Mr. Fitzgibbon, afterwards Lord Clare, 
and Chancellor of Ireland. The latter attacked the 
volunteers for their resolutions and addresses, 
stating that they were a giddy faction, and that 
this was nothing but violence and clamour. Mr. 
Daly admitted the principle to the fullest extent, 



and denied the right of England to legislate for 
Ireland ; but he considered these Resolutions to 
be a challenge thrown out to that country. 

Mr. Burgh said, he owed no favour to any Ad- 
ministration ; he had rejected the offers they had 
made, and he would not embarrass them ; but the 
voice of the people had gone forth, calling on their 
representatives to add permanency to the freedom 
of their constitution, and to give efficacy to the 
enlargement of their trade — which was the more 
necessary now, as England had assumed a super- 
intending legislative power. 

The Provost Hutchinson said, that the vote pro- 
posed involved the country in difficulties, and that 
it was admitted that English Acts of Parliament 
were of no force in Ireland ; and so he had, as 
judge, charged both grand and petty juries. 
Magistrates, moreover, would not obey the law 
passed in England, even if a judge had given it in 
charge to them. 

Mr. Flood wished to postpone the question, as 
the time of England s distress was an improper one 
at which to bring it forward. He urged, that by an 
appeal to her understanding, and by a well- 
timed stroke of Irish generosity, we might well 
obtain from her a measure declaratory of the rights 
of Ireland. 

Mr. Forbes most ably supported Mr. Grattan, 
in one of the best speeches he ever pronounced. 





Mr. Yelverton and Mr. Burgh spoke most elo- 
quently in favour of the question, and the latter 
proposed an addition to the amendment, "that 
there being an equivalent resolution on the books 
to the one now moved, the same may for that 
reason be adjourned to the 1st September next." 

This amendment perplexed the government, and 
obtained the support of Mr. Flood, Mr. Hutchin- 
son, Mr. Fitzgibbon, and Mr. Metge ; the Provost 
declaring that to negative this amendment, would 
be to negative the original proposition — a pro- 
ceeding which the House would not agree to. 

At length after fifteen hours' debate, the House 
divided, — ayes 97, noes 136. So that no question 
appeared upon the journals. The object of the 
government was to get an entry on the journals, 
adverse to the motion ; and this was defeated, 
chiefly by the skill and management of Mr. Burgh, 
who exerted himself particularly on the occasion. 
Thus the House virtually pronounced a decided 
opinion in favour of the rights of Ireland, and re- 
fused to record on their journals any thing adverse 

Thus ended a most memorable debate : its 
effect was quickly felt in the spirit it diffused ; 
and the invisible virtue of that vote penetrated 
the inmost recesses of the island. 

The subjoined account of the debate, &c. as 
given by the Lord Lieutenant, will not prove un- 




Dublin Castle, 20th April, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Mr, Grattan yesterday, agreeably to his notice, which I 
mentioned to your Lordship in my letter of the 12th inst., 
moved the first of the inclosed resolutions, when in pur- 
suance of a determination of His Majesty's confidential 
servants, and other persons of consideration in this king- 
dom, at a meeting which I summoned for the purpose, the 
Attorney General moved that the consideration of the first 
motion might be adjourned to the 1st day of September 

After a very long debate, in which a resolution of the 
26th of July, 1641, had been mentioned amongst the rea- 
sons for the House not coming to the first resolution, 
Mr. Burgh moved that the motion of adjournment might 
be amended by adding the following words, 14 There being 
an equivalent resolution already upon the journals of the 
House."* As this amendment seemed likely to carry with 
it many gentlemen who were with Government, Mr. Foster, 
in order to change the ground, and get a question on which 
every friend might vote with us, proposed that the reso- 
lution alluded to, should be inserted bv way of amendment, 

* See Appendix to Vol. I. for this and other spirited proceedings of 
the Irish Parliament. The resolution referred to in the proposed amend 
ment is as follows : — 

" It is voted upon question, nullo contradicente, that the subjects oi 
this His Majesty's kingdom are a free people, and to be governed only 
according to the common law of England, and the statutes made and 
established by Parliament in this kingdom of Ireland, and according to 
the lawful custom used in the same." — Commons' Journals, vol. 1st, 26th 
July, 1641, page 501. 

E 2 



[chap. II. 

and gave notice that he should not then object to the 
whole amendment. 

Upon a division, Mr. Foster's motion was carried, 136 to 
79. The division being over, it was proposed by Mr. Flood 
and the Provost, that the House should adjourn without 
coming to any resolution, the question being sufficiently 
agitated, and requiring no decision ; and it being insisted 
that the subject might, although the question for post- 
poning should be carried, be moved again in various 
shapes, and it being understood the question was not to 
be brought on again, and there being a certainty that our 
majority would be less upon any subsequent division, it 
was determined that the proceedings should be withdrawn 
without being entered on the journals ; and the House was 
adjourned at half an hour past six this morning. 

As I receive my accounts from gentlemen who are much 
fatigued, I must defer till the next packet giving your 
Lordship a particular account of this day's debate. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, April 21st, 1780. 

My Lord, 

In the letter I had the honour of writing to your Lordship 
yesterday, I mentioned, that not having received the 
account of the debate of the preceding day and night, 
fully digested, I could not then inform your Lordship of it 
more particularly. 

The first of the three resolutions which I enclosed to 
your Lordship,* was introduced by Mr. Grattan with very 

* See p. 48. 



great ability, and with great warmth and enthusiasm; 
omitting no argument which could artfully be suggested to 
stimulate the minds of those whom he thought in any 
degree disposed to adopt his measures, and he produced 
the Act of the 6th of King George the 1st, declaratory of 
the rights of Great Britain, as the most general attack 
upon the rights and liberties of this kingdom. He antici- 
pated several arguments which he said he knew would be 
opposed to him, particularly the improbability that Great 
Britain would now relinquish an authority, whether justly 
or unjustly assumed, which had been exercised so many 
years. In answer to this, he produced the declaration of 
the Commissioners to America, which he said contained the 
terms proposed for reconciliation, in which not only the 
power of taxation was given up, and the freedom of inter- 
nal legislature established, but also the power of the 
Parliament of Great Britain to bind America was re- 
nounced ; and he added, that it could not be suspected 
that Great Britain would refuse the most loyal of subjects 
that justice, which was offered to those who had been de- 
clared in rebellion. — He was answered by the Attorney- 
General, who in an able and direct manner, asserted the 
legislative power of Great Britain, and that the titles of 
one-half of the landed property in Ireland depended upon 
British laws. He represented the fatal effects, if a doubt 
should be created of the security of the present possessors; 
and he observed, that no regard could be had by the courts 
of law, to a resolution of one part of the legislature. He 
enlarged upon the dispositions so recently proved, of His 
.Majesty, his ministers, the Parliament, and the people of 
Great Britain, to promote the welfare of this kingdom ; the 
late benefits so unanimously granted ; and he observed, the 
reasonable expectation, that mutual interest and affection 
must now remove every article from which discontent or 



suspicion can proceed ; that not only every thing in fact, in- 
jurious to the interests of Ireland, is already done away, 
but unexpected marks of the greatest favour have been 
granted ; that it was unnecessary, inexpedient, ungrateful, 
nay, dangerous in a high degree to this country, and in- 
jurious to Great Britain, to agitate the question. He then, 
agreeably to what had been determined, which I mentioned 
in my letter of yesterday, moved to adjourn the considera- 
tion of the motion to the 1st of September next. 

The legislative power of Great Britain was not insisted 
upon by any other than the Attorney and Solicitor- 
General. The voice against it was so general, that those 
who might otherwise have stood up to support it, found 
themselves so few in number, that they thought it more 
prudent to confine themselves to the inexpediency and ill 
effect of any declaration upon this head. 

Mr. Daly supported the motion for postponing, as did 
Mr. Foster, Mr. Conolly, Mr. Solicitor-General, Mr. 
Gardiner, Mr. Toler, Mr. Fitzgibbon, Mr. Bushe, Mr. 
Mason, Sir Hercules Langrishe, and several others. — 
Mr. Burgh, Mr. Yelverton, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Brownlow, 
and Sir William Osborne, with many others, supported Mr. 

Many gentlemen declared their wishes that the subject 
had not been introduced, thinking it very inexpedient for 
the House to come to any resolution, although they con- 
sidered Mr. Grattan's resolution as containing a truth to 
which they could not give a negative. Mr. Burgh, seeing 
that the question for postponing the consideration would 
be carried, moved the amendment which I mentioned in 
my last ; which made so great an impression upon many 
gentlemen, that it appeared necessary to change the ground 
for a division, and Mr. Foster moved the amendment to it, 
which was carried ; but before any question upon the 



amendment so amended could be put, the compromise was 
proposed by Mr. Fitzgibbon to withdraw the whole; and the 
question of adjournment being moved by Mr. Burgh for 
that purpose, and pressed by Mr. Flood, and also by Mr. 
Daly, Mr. Bushe, and many gentlemen who before were 
inclined to postpone the consideration of the question, it 
was feared the majority might be diminished ; so the whole 
business, and the attack of opposition, was defeated in the 
manner I related to your Lordship. 

It is with the utmost concern I must acquaint your Lord- 
ship that although so many gentlemen expressed their 
concern that the subject had been introduced, the sense of 
the House against the obligation of any statutes of the Par- 
liament of Great Britain within this kingdom is represented to 
me to have been almost unanimous. 

I have the honour to be, &.e. 




Feeling of the people respecting free trade. — Causes which led to the 
union of Catholic and Protestant. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord 
North. — Question of sugar duties. — The King's name used against 
Ireland. — Resolutions of the volunteers. — Speech of Mr. Yelver- 
ton thereon. — His character. — Anecdotes of him. — His noble defence 
of Mr. Grattan in his absence. — New dilemma of the country. — The 
magistrates will not obey the English Mutiny Bill. — They release the 
prisoners under it. — Letters of the Lord Lieutenant of 8th and 22nd 
April. — Case of two deserters. — Lord Lieutenant's letter of 26th 
April.— Case of Hart the deserter. — Lord Lieutenant's letter of the 
27th April. — Account of debate on Poyning's law and Yelverton's 

It may be a matter of surprise that a country 
situated as Ireland was at this period — a country 
physically weak— weak from her situation — weak 
from her divisions — could at this moment be 
so singularly united ; and the more remarkable, 
because there were only two questions on which 
the country could agree ; — freedom of trade, and 
freedom of legislation. Most fortunately, the 
subject first agitated was that of free trade, — 
which was the interest and gain of all parties, — 
Protestant, Catholic, and Presbyterian. The Pro- 
testants were glad to give the Catholic trade and 



property, because it added to their own ; they 
were gainers by the trade the Catholic was to 
carry on, and by which he could enrich the 
country and the Protestant. This could only excite 
rivalry, not jealousy, inasmuch as it set up neither 
party over the other. 

But the question which followed and came im- 
mediately after, was less likely to unite the people. 
However, they soon perceived that a free consti- 
tution was necessary for a free trade ; and Pro- 
testant, Presbyterian, and Catholic knew that, 
without it, their trade was at the mercy of Eng- 
land. The Catholic, therefore, supported it, be- 
cause it assisted his commerce, and was likely to 
promote his political views. The Protestant re- 
membered how severely his trade had, in past 
times, been injured, and knew it would be in vain 
to obtain commerce, if that commerce was once 
more to be left to the discretion of the English 
Parliament. Hence arose the union of parties, 
and that combination of sentiment which united 
the nation, and made it act as one man. 

The justice of the apprehensions thus enter- 
tained, with regard to their commerce, was fully 
proved by the proceedings adopted on the part of 
the British Cabinet ; for, no sooner was the free 
trade obtained by Ireland, than the British Mi- 
nister sought to impose a duty of 1/. 8s. upon the 
principal export of the British islands (raw 
sugars); and so injurious was this proceeding re- 



[chap, nil 

garded, even by his own Government in Ireland, 
and so likely to nullify the measure of concession 
which Ireland, by her address of October 1779, 
had thought she obtained, that the Lord Lieute- 
nant found it necessary to write to England to 
remonstrate with the Minister, declaring that the 
measure of free trade would be of no avail, if this 
duty was imposed. 


Dublin Castle April 2, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The accounts which reach me from every quarter, evidently 
demonstrate that unless the duty of 1/. 8s. (as stated by 
Sir Richard Heron) is allowed to be laid on British refined 
sugars, the indulgence of trade to the West Indies will be 
esteemed by Ireland as nothing, 

I am not sufficiently versed in commercial regulations 
to form a complete judgment upon so important a measure. 
But it is of such consequence, and so immediate a decision 
is essential to the dispatch of our business, that I should 
not have thought myself justified in neglecting the most 
expeditious mode of submitting it to your consideration. 

Your lordship is full well acquainted with the difficulty 
of finding taxes to answer a supply ; you cannot, therefore, 
deem it unworthy your attention, whether, if this is not 
complied with, the Irish House of Commons will be induced 
to lay the duty upon Muscovado sugar, a resource upon 
which, according to our present plan of finance, we prin- 
cipally depend. Mr. Foster having wrote yesterday in 



extenso to Sir Richard Heron upon this subject, renders it 
unnecessary for me to further expatiate. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


The ill-advised measure of Government, where- 
by the King in his answer to the address of the 
Lords had censured the conduct of the people, only 
confirmed them in the opinion that the tenure of 
their trade was most insecure, when at the outset 
of their efforts to obtain constitutional relief they 
were not merely censured, but condemned, and 
were met by the frowns of his Majesty, and the 
intrigues of his representative. The letters of the 
minister show these were not only the opinions of 
the Cabinet, but of the King himself, and his 
name was put forward to urge on the Lord Lieu- 
tenant to oppose the rights of his subjects. 

But the people were not discouraged by the 
censure in the Lords, or their failure in the Com- 
mons. The same soul that could associate and 
improve, discipline and mortify itself, in a public 
cause, was not to be cheated out of its liberty by 
plausible words. They knew their right and felt 
their power, and the following resolutions were a 
proof of it. 

At a meeting of the Liberty volunteers, April 24th, 
1780, pursuant to notice, Major Samuel Andrews in the 
chair, the following resolutions were agreed to: — 

Resolved, that the sincere and grateful thanks of this 




corps be presented in the most public manner to the Right 
Honourable the Lords Carysfort, Irnham, Arran, Charle- 
mont, Moira, Eyre, and Mountmorris, for their upright 
and spirited conduct on the 2nd day of March last. 

That the sincere and grateful thanks of this corps be 
presented in the most public manner to Henry Grattan, 
Esq., and the ninety-eight worthy and faithful guardians of 
the people's rights, who supported his motion on Wednes- 
day the 19th instant, " That the King, Lords, and Com- 
mons of Ireland (only), were competent to make laws for 
the government of this kingdom." 

That we observe with astonishment and concern a late 
defiance, wherein the people are unwarrantably charged 
with being misguided, raising groundless jealousies, and 
diverting their attention from the commercial advantages 
recently held out. 

That we do pledge ourselves, each man for himself and 
one to another, by every tie which can bind the citizen and 
soldier, to unite against the common enemy of our King 
and country, in support of an harmonious connection with 
Great Britain ; in support of the constitutional rights of 
this kingdom ; and in support of the ancient privileges of 
the legislature of Ireland. 

The question of sugar duties was the one which 
put to the test the sincerity of the British Minister 
on the subject of free trade. The duty imposed 
by the Privy Council in England was such as to 
injure the sugar refineries of Ireland; and accord- 
ingly Sir Richard Johnson moved a re-committal 
of the bill, in which he was seconded by Mr. 
Grattan, and supported by Mr. Forbes, Mr. 
Brownlow, Mr. Bushe, the Provost, and even 




Mr. Foster. The bill was re-committed by 130 
to 85. Nevertheless, [2s. a cwt. was the duty 
imposed ; which the merchants conceived to be 
wholly inadequate. Meetings accordingly were 
held in Dublin, and other parts of the country, 
and resolutions were passed pledging themselves 
not to consume or import that species of sugar. 

Mr. Yelverton spoke most ably on this subject. 
The following is the only sketch that remains of 
his speech. 

u Mr. Yelverton believed that many gentlemen mistook 
the notion of the freedom of trade granted to us by the 
English. It was to put the Irish on an equal footing, 
which this resolution came very far short of. [He then 
read an extract from the English act for granting a free 
trade.] You reject the benefit," said he, u which the English 
offer you — become traitors to yourselves, and enemies to 
the constitution. Ungrateful as this disposition was, one 
simple mode of calculation was applicable to every under- 
standing. The English refiners had a drawback of 15s. 4 d. 
on every hundred. There was an Irish duty of l'Js., which 
left a profit of 3s. 4\d. on every hundred. On all their 
second refines, they were allowed 6s. Sd. for exportation, 
which, if not exported, was retailed at that amount at home. 

" I see," said he, u I am not attended to by the other side. 
But they are more earnestly bound to hear it, than all the 
splendid corruption which has eloquently flowed from that 
side in the course of many Sessions. We are going to add 
a duty of 5s. 6d. on raw sugars, and inadequate to every 
idea of equalization, only 5s. \0d. on the refined. Under 
these difficulties and disadvantages, is the Irish refiner left 



[chap. III. 

to struggle. If you do no more for your country, transfer 
to England her free trade, and stand upon your old foot- 
ing, by which the revenue of Ireland must feel a decrease 
of 50,000Z. annually. Either impose a duty of 16s. l\d, 
or leave the Irish as they were before. Let them be de- 
prived of their local situation — let thirty-three sugar- 
houses fall to the ground — and send the manufacturers 
begging, rather than not indulge England in the power of 
underselling us ! And yet," said he, " there is something- 
due to the wishes of the people, because they begin to lose 
that confidence in their representatives, which has hitherto 
kept them within bounds. 

" Smothered discontents may break, out into a new flame, 
when the Parliament would not be sitting, nor a sufficient 
power in the country to oppose the indignation of an injured 
people. The merchants had this day met, and resolved, 
unless this resolution was done away, to enter into their old 
non-importation agreements, and concentrate their trade, 
to the advantage of their own country. He did not men- 
tion this as a threat, but would warn them of threatened ill- 
consequences. All our returns," he said, " were raw sugars 
from the colonies; we were deprived of the advantages of 
manufacturing that raw sugar ; and all our exports would 
feel a ruin, in consequence, particularly our woollens. De- 
range one part of the system of trade, and you destroy the 
whole — you destroy all trade. He could not help remark- 
ing the prostituted use which had been made of the term, 
free trade. When we first received it, an intemperate burst 
of applause broke forth, like the extravagance of lunacy, 
or the giddy joy of a child. If a constitutional question 
was started, if grievances were represented, we were 
answered, you have got a free trade ! If a declaration of 
our rights was demanded, we should be satisfied with a 
free trade ! If a modification of an oppressive law was at- 
tempted, we were stunned with the exclamation, Oh, you 




have got a free trade! — your free trade was food and 
raiment to you — it was the burthen of the Ministerial song 
— it was the lullaby which hushed your necessities to rest, 
and the requiem which was sung over the perturbed spirit 
of your departing poverty ! Every struggle for liberty 
was called sedition — you were to meddle with nothing ; 
but all were misguided men, who dared to think of or de- 
mand a restitution of the natural rights of their country. 
A free trade was thrown out as a bubble, and made to 
answer all the ends intended by those who never meant to 
grant you any. If some use be not made of this hour, we 
shall be entertained hereafter with ideal advantages, instead 
of solid benefits. The people will see too late that they 
have been amused with a plaything ; and when they have 
lost it, will sit down like a child, and cry for all their folly 
has lost them. He adjured them, as they valued the peace 
and tranquillity of the kingdom, as they valued all their 
hopes of future prosperity, as they valued ease, happiness, 
and independence, — bv the memory of their sufferings, by 
their regard for the welfare of posterity, as they valued the 
political connection between both kiugdoms, he adjured 
them once again, to take this matter into consideration, 
and save themselves from being handed down to future 
ages as the destroyers of the constitution." 

Mr. Yelverton was a first-rate speaker — nearly 
the most powerful one in his day. His style was 
short and strong ; he never wandered from his 
subject, either to the right or to the left. He was 
endowed with a masculine understanding, and saw 
the strong point of everything ; but his fire was 
so ardent, that it quickly consumed the fuel 
which fed it. He was deficient in his tones and 




manner, and he wanted taste ; yet without these 
accomplishments, his speeches were superior, and 
even sublime orations. Unfortunately, nothing 
almost remains of them that could give a just idea 
of their excellence. The one spoken on the 25th of 
September, 1775, when he opposed sending 4,000 
troops to America, and that on the 4th of August, 
1778, in support of the Catholic Bill, in which he 
denounced the Penal Laws, contained fine consti- 
tutional principles, evinced a powerful intellect, 
and proved him to be a great man, possessed of a 
vigorous and comprehensive mind. 

Unfortunately he was too fond of conviviality, 
and that not always in the most elevated society. 
He grew attached to a strange character who as- 
sumed the garb and air of a foreigner, and chose 
to call himself " Achmet" but who, in fact, was 
a mere Irishman, wearing a long beard, and pre- 
tending to be a Turk. Another individual with 
whom he associated was Mr. Anderson, a soli- 
citor. These persons and their companions took 
him too much away from his public and graver 
duties. As their patron was liberal, they obliged 
him by taking his money, and laughing at his 
jokes in return ; and he liked their society, not 
because he could not make a fitting display in 
better, but because he was there freed from the 
necessity of making any. His fault was indo- 
lence : like Proteus, he loved to lie at ease in his 
cave; but when pressed and fairly brought into 
action — when roused, and induced to apply his 

chap, nr.] 



mind to a subject, he was not only very fine, but 
superior almost to any man of the day. He had 
a great volume of voice, a rich flow of ideas, a 
rapid imagination, and an austere pathos. His 
speeches were not observations upon detached 
subjects, but a regular continued flow of legal 

When Yelverton warmed upon a subject, his 
mind and his eye fired. He did not illumine his 
speech by brilliant figures, like Burgh, or adorn 
it with pointed sentences, like Flood (who was a 
master of the art of oratory) ; but he came forth 
with a style of reasoning that charmed and aston- 
ished, and that struck the listener as the finest 
species of ratiocination. Mr. Grattan compared 
him, and well, to the rolling of the Atlantic wave, 
three thousand miles in depth.* 

His early speeches and his law arguments were 
incomparable. When he spoke his best, he was 
better than any man ; but he was uncertain, and 
he was always for putting off questions. He was 
afraid of Independence in 1780, and he delayed the 
question of Poyning's law in 1781. He was, in 
fact, almost afraid to bring forward any motion. 
He had interviews with Lord Buckingham and Mr. 
Eden ; the Castle people got about him, and ex- 
postulated with him, and he suffered his ardour to 
cool ; so that instead of the question on Poyning's 

* Speech in 1805, on the Roman Catholic question. 



[chap. III. 

law in December, 1781, he proposed an Address 
of Condolence on the capture of Lord Cornwallis, 
and the loss of the British army in America. 

Yelverton was not a good House of Commons 
man, nor was he an active member of parliament. 
Burgh was in that respect his superior. He did 
not speak much in parliament, and had no ambi- 
tion to excel there. But when he lighted up, and 
let himself out, nothing could be finer. His dig- 
nity and loftiness of mind were very striking. He 
had the strongest and clearest manner, which 
made the hearer forget his general defects — his 
accents and his taste. Take him from his sub- 
ject, and he was ordinary ; give him a question, 
and time to prepare himself upon it, and he was 
everything. His knowledge of law gave his mind 
a regulated turn, and gained him an advantage 
over all the rest. He was better than Daly or 
Burgh, and would have been better than Flood, 
and have excelled him in argument, though not in 
satire. He was, in fact, superior to all the men 
of his time, not excepting Anthony Malone. 

Flood had taken from Yelverton the question of 
Poyning's law, and had made a motion upon the 
subject, knowing that Yelverton had undertaken 
to urge that particular question. Yelverton feared 
an attack, and did not press upon Flood, as he 
dreaded his satire. He used to say that he would 
be placed upon the bench, and that it was better 
he should not ascend it soiled by the abuse of any 




individual. He never had accepted office from 
any of the governments of the day ; but on the 
death of Hussey Burgh, he succeeded him as 
Chief Baron of the Exchequer. He was probably 
the best advocate of the age ; and though, perhaps, 
he was not so deeply versed in law as other men, 
he was, however, considered to be a good criminal 

Yelverton may not have been so profound a 
lawyer as Lord Mansfield, but he was a greater 
man. Lord Mansfield could not have stood be- 
fore him for five minutes ; he would have sunk 
him to the earth. Lord Annaly, who was not a 
bad judge of talent, and certainly not partial to 
Yelverton, used to say he was the best advocate 
he ever heard in either country — better than Ma- 
lone, — better than Burgh. He carried away the 
Court, the hearers, the jury; all were lost while 
listening to him. He spoke with inspiration — a 
concatenated eloquence. 

Yelverton supported Mr. Grattan on the great 
questions of Free Trade and Independence ; on 
the Six Months' Money Bill ; the vote against 
New Taxes ; the Mutiny Bill ; and the repeal of 
Poyning's Law. He began well, but concluded 
ill. He wanted judgment ; he lost himself at the 
Union ; tarnished the lustre of his early day, 
and left no record behind, except his part in that 
worst of transactions. He always feared Eng- 
land, and dreaded her power and her violence. 

f 2 




Although on this question his conduct was to be 
deplored, yet it must be said it was the early 
impression of his mind. At the period of the 
Regency, he had expressed himself somewhat in 
favour of such a measure ; and said he wished 
some final settlement to be adopted. But at the 
period of 1782 no one would have dared to mention 
the word " Union." He might have been spoken 
to by Mr. Lees, or Mr. Ogilvie, as he was intimate 
at the Castle ; but never openly. He had, on this 
subject, sad visitations of conscience, and on one 
occasion afterwards, when in company with some 
friends, he was defending the Union, one of them 
gently took him by the elbow, and exclaimed — 
" Ah! Yelverton, you were a patriot in 1782 ! " 
Struck by the reproach, he covered his face with 
his hands, and burst into tears. 

In the case of Lord Edward Fitzgerald's chil- 
dren, Yelverton spoke before the Lords on the 
question of attainder. Lord Clare stopped him, 
and he had not courage to go on, and tell Lord 
Clare that he was mistaken in point of law. 
Curran, who was counsel in the case, went round 
to him, and told him that Lord Clare was wrong, 
and that if he looked into the books he would find 
it so ; but he was awed by Lord Clare, who 
would not let him go through the evidence, and 
who was supported by Lord Enniskillen and the 
other Lords ; and Yelverton yielded. 

On another occasion, he argued before the 




Lords, in an appeal against a judgment of Lord 
Clare's. The law of the case was quite erroneous, 
and Yelverton sought to reverse it. He wrote 
down not only the heads of the argument (which 
was his custom), but the whole of what he in- 
tended to say, and told one of his friends that he 
was determined not to go further, for he might be 
induced to go beyond what lie wished ; and Lord 
Clare would not spare his opponent, particularly 
in defence of his own judgment. When he went 
to the House, however, he far exceeded the limits 
he had prescribed to himself, and he delivered a 
most luminous speech. It was one of the last 
appeals the Irish House of Lords ever tried. Lord 
Clare got very violent, induced the Lords to agree 
with him, and thus upheld his decision. 

On one occasion, Mr. Fitzgibbon had attacked 
Mr. G rattan, who was not then in the House. 
Mr. Yelverton defended him warmly, and replied 
to the charges : — " If my learned friend were 
present, the honourable gentleman would take 
some time to consider before he hazarded an en- 
counter with his genius, his eloquence, and his 
integrity. My honourable friend did not provoke 
the attack, equally ungenerous and untrue, and 
for which no justification can be found in any part 
of his splendid career. The learned gentleman 
has stated what Mr. Grattan is ; I will state what 
he is not; he is not styed in his prejudices ; he does 
not trample on the resuscitation of his country, or live 



[CHAP. Ill, 

like a caterpillar, on the decline of her prosperity ; 
he does not stickle for the letter of the constitution 
with the affectation of a prude, and abandon its prin- 
ciples with the effrontery of a prostitute 11" 

This severe and cutting reprimand was received 
by Mr. Fitzgibbon, without retort. 

Affairs had now assumed a more serious aspect, 
arising from a circumstance wholly new to the 
public mind, and hitherto neither foreseen nor 
apprehended, namely, that there was no law nor 
mutiny-bill to govern the army (the validity of a 
British law being denied). The disbandment of 
the entire of the military force in Ireland might 
have been the consequence ; and that this event 
did not take place, was attributable to the good 
disposition of the people, who were averse from 
encouraging a licentious and insubordinate spirit, 
and whose leaders maintained a steady and up- 
right conduct, hostile alike to tyranny or convul- 

The preservation from this danger cannot be 
attributed to the vigilance or discreet proceeding 
of the ministers in England, who, notwithstanding 
the mischief likely to follow even the public dis- 
cussion of such a question, and of which they got 
timely information from the Lord Lieutenant, had, 
as yet, taken no effectual step to remedy the 
evil. There appears here an instance of retribu- 
tive justice, of unseen and all-powerful dispensa- 
tions ; for the British Government felt themselves 




checked by the very excess of their own tyranny, 
in past and troublous times, "when what must be, 
not what is meet, was law," they had passed their 
Mutiny Bill, and now found it difficult and 
hazardous to enforce it, inasmuch as it was an 
English law, and they were too haughty and im- 
perious to stoop to an Irish one. Such was the 
dilemma they were placed in. 

Mr. Hutchinson declared in the House, that the 
British Mutiny Act was not binding in Ireland ; 
other members said the same. Magistrates pro- 
ceeded to release from prison the soldiers who 
deserted ; so that, in fact, any regular army might 
have ceased to exist. 

Upon this extraordinary emergency, application 
was made to the English ministers ; but they 
were deaf to the repeated solicitations from Ire- 
land, and his Majesty's instructions commanded his 
ministers there, — " obstare in limine," and on no 
account to countenance or forward to England 
any Irish Bill to regulate their army. 


Dublin Castle, April 8, 1780. 


I am commanded by my Lord Lieutenant to acquaint you, 
for the information of the Earl of Hillsborough, that on the 
6th of February last, Terence Magrath was committed by 
the Provost of Sligo to the gaol in that town, being charged 
upon oath, by Corporal More, of the 62nd regiment of 
foot, of being a deserter from his Majesty's 12th regiment 
of dragoons. 




A route, dated the 16th of March last, signed by his 
Excellency, for transmitting Terence Magrath to the Pro- 
vost Martial in Dublin, having been sent to Sligo, Captain 
Anthony Cliffe, of his Majesty's 4th regiment of horse, 
by letter dated the 21st day of March, signified to the 
Adjutant-General, that in consequence of an order signed 
by Joseph Meredith, Esq., one of his Majesty's Justices of 
the Peace for the said County, directing the said gaoler to 
discharge the said Terence Magrath, if detained in the said 
gaol on no other charge but that of being a deserter from 
the 12th light dragoons, the prisoner had been discharged 

That Nicholas Staunton, a deserter from his Majesty's 
32nd regiment of foot, having been committed in the 
month of December last, to the gaol of Castlebar, a route, 
dated the 18th past, was sent to Castlebar, for his being 
transmitted from thence, and delivered over to the com- 
manding officer of that regiment at Youghall; Captain 
Purden of his Majesty's 4th regiment of horse, upon 
receipt of this route, by letter, dated at Castlebar, the 24th 
past, reported, that in pursuance of an order signed Neal 
O'Donnell, and dated the Uth of February last, directing 
the gaoler of the County of Mayo to discharge the said 
Nicholas Staunton, he having, as is therein set forth, sur- 
rendered himself to Mr. O'Donnell, before he was taken 
up, agreeably to the King's proclamation, bearing date the 
22nd of January last, a month after the prisoner had been 

These proceedings of two of his Majesty's Justices of 
the Peace, appearing to his Excellency to be not only 
highly improper and illegal, but possibly intended, at this 
critical time, to lead to extensive mischief ; and his Ex- 
cellency being advised, that upon laying evidence of these 
facts before his Majesty's Court of King's Bench, these 




gentlemen will be attached, without entering into con- 
sideration of the reasons assigned by them ; and that they 
may very properly, in consequence thereof, be removed by 
the Lord Chancellor from the Commission of the Peace ; 
his Excellency has ordered the Crown Solicitor to lay 
these matters before his Majesty's Attorney-General, and 
to proceed against the said Magistrates in such a manner 
as he shall direct. 

I have the honour, &c. 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, April 22, 1780. 

My Lord, 

In the letter I had the honour of writing to your Lordship 
of the 19th instant, stating the motion in the House of 
Commons by Mr. Bushe, for leave to bring in heads of a 
Bill for punishment of Mutiny and Desertion, and for the 
better payment of the Army and their quarters, I men- 
tioned that I should immediately summon a meeting of 
his Majesty's confidential servants to take into considera- 
tion this subject; I had accordingly, yesterday, a meeting 
of the Chancellor, the Speaker, the three Chief Judges, 
the Attorney and Solicitor-General, Mr. Foster, and General 
Cunningham, the command of the Army having devolved 
upon him in the absence of Sir John Irvvine. 

The subject appeared to them of the utmost moment, 
and rendered still more so by the general sentiments 
declared on Wednesday last, in the House of Commons, 
with the exception only of the Attorney and Solicitor- 
General, that no laws but those enacted in this kingdom 
are obligatory in it. Had this sentiment not already been 
taken up through many parts of the kingdom, these de- 




clarations in the House of Commons would render it 
general ; and it was strongly urged at this meeting, that 
few magistrates would be found, throughout the kingdom, 
who would enforce the Mutiny Act ; that hardly any Jury, 
grand or petit, would take notice of it ; and that so far as 
it is necessary for the protection of the officers, in keeping 
up the discipline of the army, by punishing offenders, it 
would not be admitted ; and Juries would find indictments 
and verdicts against every officer who might be prosecuted 
for the inflicting Court-Martial sentences. 

The legal validity of the law, your Lordship may well 
suppose, was not a question at this meeting ; the improba- 
bility of its being executed was the general sentiment ; and 
it seemed to be morally certain, that from the temper of 
the times, his Majesty's army would be effectually deprived 
of the powers, benefits, and protection it should afford. 

Under these circumstances, the dangerous consequences 
which must ensue were too obvious ; and though I shall 
certainly endeavour to prevent, as far as I can, the intro- 
duction of any Bill of the nature of that proposed by Mr. 
Bushe, and shall oppose it in every stage ; yet I cannot 
avoid laying before your Lordship the general sense 
of this meeting, that I should particularly state to your 
Lordship the principle upon which this Bill may be 
supposed to be introduced in the most effectual man- 
ner to enforce the independence of the Irish Legislature, 
and the incompetence of a British Act, by shaking one ; the 
non-obedience to which must lead to a total disbanding 
of the army ; a law too, in which the king may think his 
prerogative, as well as the supremacy of the British Parlia- 
ment, concerned. If therefore His Majesty shall think 
proper to give me any orders for my conduct as to the 
Parliament enacting laws heretofore passed, in which 
Ireland was intended to be bound, and in regard to this 




mutiny law, a moment should not be lost in transmitting 
them to me. 

It is my duty to represent to your Lordship such remedy 
as is suggested to me, to prevent the dangerous and fatal 
consequences which the idea of the supposed invalidity of 
the mutiny law must bring on. If the soldiers should 
begin to think it will be construed as not operating in 
respect of them, and should they find the country ready to 
protect them from the punishments of desertion, it is 
certainly to be presumed that they will desert in great 
numbers. And I feel myself bound to acquaint your 
Lordship, that it is the general sentiment of this meeting, 
that the only sure remedy is by enacting the British 
Mutiny Law in this Parliament, either in the whole, those 
parts being excepted which are applicable to Great Britain 
only, or by a short clause, enacting it in general, which 
latter mode is recommended. 

Should the peculiar circumstances of the times, and this 
representation, induce His Majesty to think such a measure 
proper, I do earnestly entreat your Lordship may with 
all speed communicate his directions to me. I shall in 
the mean time take all the pains in my power to defer its 
being proposed in Parliament; but I cannot help expressing 
my fears, very strongly, that when it shall be moved there, 
very many gentlemen, who upon all other occasions have 
supported the Government, will be induced to vote for the 
Bill, alarmed by the ruinous consequences which their 
sentiments of the inefEcacy of the present law will suggest 
to them ; and its receiving the sanction of the House of 
Commons will too probably convince the military and the 
Irish nation generally of that supposed inefEcacy. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, April 28, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour of inclosing herewith to your Lordship 
a newspaper, printed here yesterday, called the Public 
Register, or Freeman's Journal, containing in the last page 
a letter u To the Committee for conducting the Free 
Press/' addressed "To the justices of the peace, and all 
other magistrates and civil officers throughout the kingdom 
of Ireland, &c." signed " Anti-Tyrannus." It is unneces- 
sary for me to observe to your Lordship what a dangerous 
incitement to desertion such an audacious publication must 
prove in the minds of the soldiery of His Majesty's army 
in this kingdom, amongst whom that crime is already 
prevalent to a very high degree, and I have therefore 
appointed the Lord Chancellor, chief judges, Attorney and 
Solicitor-General, to meet to-morrow to consider what may 
be most proper to be done by Government thereupon. 

The question respecting Poyning's Law being appointed 
for this day in the House, made it necessary to defer the 
meeting until to-morrow ; I shall not fail apprising your 
Lordship, immediately after the meeting, with the measure 
which they shall think most advisable to be adopted. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


To the Committee for conducting the Free Press. 

To the justices of the peace, and all other magistrates and 
civil officers, throughout the kingdom of Ireland. 


As it is now a determined resolution of our House of Com- 
mons, and of all ranks of people in this kingdom, that 



English statutes are of no force in this kingdom, I therefore 
think it my duty to warn you, at your perils, against 
paying any respect to the following advertisement, which 
seems fraught with private malice, and a palpable intent to 
establish English tyranny in this kingdom : 

"Twenty guineas reward for apprehending a deserter. — 
Deserted from His Majesty's 2d Regiment of Horse, in 
Dublin, Dominick Hart, private, twenty-five years of age, 
five feet ten inches high, black hair, marked with the small 
pox, born at Main, county Longford. 

u Whoever secures said deserter, shall, on application to 
the officer commanding the regiment in Dublin, receive 
twenty guineas reward ; or any person writing an anonymous 
letter to said commanding officer, pointing out how he 
may be taken, shall receive the above reward, provided he 
be apprehended in consequence of such information ; the 
money shall be left where, or paid to whom, the anony- 
mous writer thinks proper, the strictest secrecy kept if 
required, and no questions asked." 

As there is a respectable number of independent gentle- 
men determined to support the freedom and consequence 
of their country and fellow-subjects, they hereby inform 
the above magistrates, &c. that they will commence an 
action against any of them that detains the aforesaid 
Dominick Hart, and the said Hart is desired, if aggrieved, 
to apply, by letter or otherwise, to the printer hereof, who 
will direct him to those gentlemen who are determined to 
support him. 






Dublin Castle, April 29, 1778. 

My Lord, 

In my letter to your Lordship, dated yesterday, inclosing a 
newspaper containing a letter to the committee for con- 
ducting the Free Press ; I acquainted your Lordship that 
I had appointed a meeting this day to take the same into 
consideration. Accordingly the Lord Chancellor, Lord 
Annaly, Lord Chief Justice Paterson, Lord Chief Baron, 
Mr. Attorney and Solicitor-General, assembled here this 
morning, and Hart, the deserter, mentioned in the said 
letter, having been apprehended, they were unanimously of 
opinion that it is most advisable not to commence any 
prosecution against the publisher of that newspaper, but 
to wait until it should be seen whether any attempt will be 
made as threatened by the advertisement. 

I judged their decision to be the best rule for my conduct, 
especially as the subject at large is now before his Majesty 
and his ministers. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, 29th April, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The motion respecting Poyning's Law, which I mentioned to 
your Lordship in my letter of the 14th instant was to have 
been brought on upon Monday last, having been put ofT 
on account of the Attorney-General's illness, Mr. Yelver- 
ton moved yesterday, in the House of Commons, for leave 
to bring in Heads of a Bill to regulate the transmission of 
Bills to Great Britain. 


poyning's LAW. 


In the speech with which he introduced his motion, 
after having fully stated the nature and history of Poyn- 
ing's Act, and the explanatory statute of Philip and Mary, 
he mentioned, that the most material part of those laws 
which oppressed the Constitution of Ireland, was the power 
of the Irish Privy Council to alter and suppress Heads of 
Bills. That therefore, his Bill had only one object in 
view, which was to abolish that power. 

Sir Richard Heron opposed the giving leave to bring in 
these Heads of a Bill, as the measure led to a great change 
in the Constitution, and upon the ground of the inexpe- 
diency of entering into such questions at the present time. 

This produced a long debate, in which Mr. Yelverton's 
motion was opposed with great ability and spirit by Sir 
Hercules Langrishe, Mr. Toler, Mr. Sergeant Fitzgerald, 
and Mr. Browne. These gentlemen not only objected to 
the motion as inexpedient, but warmly asserted the right 
as exercised by the Privy Council ; and I should not do 
justice to the Attorney-General, were I not to mention the 
very distinguished manner in which he is represented to 
have exerted himself in supporting the present constitution 
of Ireland, in demonstrating the danger of innovation, and 
in dissuading the House from any conduct tending to alie- 
nate the affections of Great Britain. He also exhorted 
them gratefully to support that British ministry which had 
procured such distinguished benefits to this country. 
Mr. Foster confined himself to the inexpediency of the 
time, which he pressed upon the House in the clearest 
and most convincing manner. The Provost also spoke 
against the motion, and said, that as on a former occasion 
he had opposed a motion of a similar tendency, merely on 
the principle of its not being necessary, he could not con- 
sistently but adopt the same conduct at a season when 
the marked discretion of the council did not invite such an 


poyning's law. 

[chap. III. 

implied censure, and the circumstances of the times ren- 
dered it particularly inexpedient. 

The gentlemen in opposition, who most distinguished 
themselves in the debate, were Mr. Ogle, Mr. Hussey Burgh, 
Mr. Forbes, Mr. Bushe, Mr. Flood, and Mr. Grattan. 

The House divided about twelve o'clock, when the 
motion passed in the negative. 

Ayes 105. Noes 130. 

The majority of last night would have been far more 
considerable, if many members under obligations to govern- 
ment had not very unexpectedly deserted, and several in- 
dependent gentlemen acted contrary to assurajices which 
might have been deemed binding. Five or six were indis- 
pensably absent from illness. 

It was strongly urged from different quarters, that the 
objecting to receive the proposition in the first instance, 
was a measure which might indispose some of those who 
would upon a fair discussion have rejected it. But 
even if his Majesty's instructions had not commanded me 
obstare in limine, I should have judged this measure 
adopted, more becoming the dignity of government, though 
it was generally deemed a very strong question. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 




Mr. Grattan's Bill respecting Irish leases. — Precarious state of landed 
property. — Firmness and disinterestedness of Mr. Grattan. — His own 
account of this transaction. — His conduct to his own tenant — The 
Mutiny Bill. — Obstinacy of Lord North. — Danger of the country in 
consequence. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough. — Account 
of the Debate. — The same to the same. — Subject continued. — 
Straits of the Government in regard to Ireland. — Mr. Fox's opinion 
of a perpetual Mutiny Bill. — Mr. Bushe's speech on this subject. — 
His character. — Insidious motion of Mr. Foster relative to the Irish 
army. — Mr. Grattan's conduct on it. — Depression of the party. — Ed- 
mund Burke's opinion of the Irish Mutiny Bill. 

On the loth May, 1780, Mr. Grattan moved for 
leave to bring in the Heads of a Bill to remove 
doubts on the construction of leases, with cove- v 
nants for perpetual renewal. Mr. Burgh and 
Mr. Foster supported, and Mr. Fitzgibbon opposed 
it ; and the Bill was carried in the lower House 
by a majority of three only. 

From the unsettled state of Ireland, the various 
confiscations and forfeitures, landed property had 
formerly been considered of comparatively little 
value ; and in order to form a good tenantry, and 



mr. grattan's conduct. [chap. IV. 

give encouragement to improve the land, this spe- 
cies of tenure was devised. It was said to have been 
introduced by the Ormond family, and a great pro- 
portion of the property of the country was held 
under it. On the fall of each life in the line, a fine 
was paid ; and if the life was not substituted within 
a stated period, (three or six months) the interest 
became forfeited to the landlord. 

In most cases, although this was not strictly 
complied with, the renewal was granted. A de- 
cision, however, of the English House of Lords, 
construing the covenants strictly, and upsetting 
what was called " the Irish equity," had shaken 
the whole of this property, and created great con- 
fusion throughout the kingdom. To remedy this 
evil, Mr. Grattan brought in the Bill above re- 
ferred to. The aristocracy were opposed to it ; 
and several of his most intimate friends requested 
him to delay the measure, that they might insti- 
tute legal proceedings against their tenants, 
whereby they would have recovered large tracts of 
land. Mr. Grattan was, however, inexorable ; he 
conceived it would be great injustice to comply 
with this request, and he urged on the measure ; 
with a view not only to settle the minds of the 
tenantry, but to confirm them in their property. 

Mr. Grattan's conduct on this occasion was the 
more remarkable, because in his own case a large 
property had in this way lapsed to him. As land- 
lord, he received but 170/. per year; but if he 



had taken legal proceedings, he might have pos- 
sessed himself of 1200/.; yet such was his sense 
of justice, that no inducement of his friends, nor 
temptation in his own case, could persuade him to 
swerve from what he conceived to be just. 

His own account of this transaction was in- 
teresting : — " I remember I brought in the Bill, 
and settled the question as to these leases, which 
the decision of the English House of Lords had 
shaken, and created great confusion in Ireland. 
I think Burgh was the means of getting, the Bill 
passed, not by his speaking, but by his not speak- 
ing. He was going to speak, but Lord Pery, who 
had a quick eye, told him the question would be 
lost, that the Government members were deter- 
mined to defeat the measure. Burgh, in conse- 
quence of this, did not speak. The question was 
put, and we carried it by a majority of three.* 
If Burgh had insisted on going on, Ogle and 
others, who had large properties depending on this 
question, would have returned and thrown out the 
Bill, and the Irish aristocracy would have ruined 
the lower orders." 

Such was the account which Mr. Grattan gave 
of the public part he took in this matter. That 
which he observed in his private capacity, with 
respect to his tenant, was not less remarkable, 
and affords a proof of his disinterestedness and his 
disregard for money. "I deserve," said he, "some 

* In the Lords it passed only by a majority of one. 
G 2 



credit for what I did then. I was poor, and I 
had in the county of Westmeath an estate under 
this tenure, that produced about 170/. a-year. 
On the death of my father, it was said to be 
worth 800/. a-year, and, at the period I speak 
of, it was worth more, probably 1200/. a-year; 
but I would not avail myself of the English de- 
cision and take this property, although the te- 
nancy was forfeited. The tenant came to me to get 
the lease renewed. She was a little old lady, in a 
green riding-habit, and a black beaver hat, and a 
large steel buckle fastening her belt. I had been 
out in the fields, and came in cold and wet, and I 
sat down by the fire to warm myself, and to avoid 
laughing at so comical a figure. I gave her the re- 
newal, and I took 80/. "fine" (I think it teas) instead 
of 1,200/. a-year. She did not seem to give me 
much credit for what I was doing, and as I was 
signing the deed, she looked at me very suspiciously, 
and said, 6 1 hope, Sir, you and this other gentleman 
(the attorney) will not cheat me, as I am a poor lone 
woman.'' She then proceeded to pay me, and her 
mode of payment was singular ; she gave me three 
bills for this sum of 80/. at six, and twelve, and 
eighteen months."* 

The important subject of the Mutiny Bill con- 
tinued to occupy the attention of the Governments 
in England and Ireland. The directions from the 

* The granddaughter of the individual here mentioned, is married to 
Mr. Trevor, Viscount Dungannon, and member of Parliament for the 
town of Durham. 




British cabinet to stifle this measure, excited just 
apprehensions in the mind of the Lord Lieutenant. 
He submitted the case to the Irish Privy Coun- 
cil, who were of opinion that the peace and safety 
of the kingdom depended on the measure. This 
decision was forwarded to the British minister; 
but Lord North remained deaf to every sugges- 
tion or solicitation on the subject, and refused to 
listen to the voice of justice, of reason, or even of 


Dublin Castle, May 8, 1780. 

My Lord, 

After the success which had attended my anxious endea- 
vours in resisting the questions introduced by Mr. Grattan 
and Mr. Yelverton, as well as in the progress of the Money 
Bills, I might have flattered myself that the remainder of 
the session would have passed in tranquillity, and that 
gratitude and good sense would have stifled any further 
efforts of opposition, had not the idea of introducing an 
Irish Mutiny Bill produced a melancholy conviction that 
my expectations were ill founded. 

My not having as yet received any letter from your 
Lordship upon the subject is more embarrassing to me, as 
my dispatches of the 22nd of April stated an intention 
of deferring the consideration, if possible, till you had 
favoured me with an answer. Either determining the rule 
for my conduct, was a matter which claimed consideration, 
or it was not ; in the latter case, the return of the post 
would naturally have expressed those sentiments, and 
referred me to my general instructions ; and in the former 
case, the intelligence received from England of the indispo- 


sition of the Lord Chancellor, whose assistance the cabinet 
would particularly require upon a decision in every light 
so peculiarly delicate and important, accounts very clearly, 
to my apprehension, for your Lordship's silence. 

As Mr. Bushe's motion was to come on this day, and 
by your Lordship's silence I considered myself bound to 
adhere to the conduct I had stated in my dispatch of the 
22nd past, I summoned a meeting of the principal servants 
of the crown, and other leading gentlemen, for the purpose 
of consulting them upon the mode of deferring the agita- 
tion of this business till I could hear from England, 
and also to receive generally their sentiments upon the 

The Primate, the Chancellor, the Archbishop of Dublin, 
Archbishop of Cashel, Duke of Leinster, Lord Annaly, 
Lord Chief Baron, the Speaker, the Provost, the Attorney- 
General, the Solicitor-General, the Earl of Shannon, Earl 
of Tyrone, Earl of Ely, Mr. Flood, Mr. Foster, Mr. Beres- 
ford, Mr. Clements, Mr. Burton, and Sir Robert Deane, 
were present at the meeting. 

The Speaker, the Provost, Mr. Foster, Duke of Lein- 
ster, Lord Annaly, and the Lord Chief Baron, all signified 
in express terms, their opinion that a Mutiny Bill to be 
enacted here, or something adequate, was absolutely neces- 
sary for the peace and safety of the kingdom ; that the 
British Mutiny Bill being only a dead letter while no 
magistrate would execute it, the kingdom was in effect 
without a mutiny law, and every officer who should act 
under it would be exposed to indictments and prosecu- 
tions. Those who were members of the House of Commons 
severally asserted, that the Bill would certainly pass that 
House by a very great majority ; that no efforts to defeat its 
introduction there could be in any sort effectual ; that the 
best friends to government in proportion to their property 




and consequence, must be prevented from opposing it by 
the terrors of all the mischiefs which presented themselves 
if no army should remain, or that army be subject to no 
effectual law. The Archbishop of Cashel alone expressed 
his disapprobation of any delay, insisting that the Bill was 
not necessary, and ought to be resisted. My determina- 
tion of opposing it, unless I should receive instructions to 
the contrary, was clearly and repeatedly signified. 

The Speaker and the Lord Chief Baron (Lord Shan- 
non's particular friend), urged strongly the not dividing 
against the Bill, as it would expose the steady friends of 
Government to public censure, and weaken their ability of 
being useful in other instances. The Speaker was most 
particularly eager upon the subject, as was Mr. Foster, 
who declared his opinion most strongly, that a division 
against introducing the Bill was a measure that could not 
meet with success, and he alleges that it would alienate 
from Government the good wishes of many gentlemen, and 
weaken the future ability of every man appearing in such 
a division, not only to support this, but every future admi- 
nistration, so long as his vote on that occasion should be 
remembered ; it was, therefore, determined to propose put- 
ting off the consideration of the question for a fortnight, 
which time was fixed on as the most likely to be agreed 
to by the House, and also to allow sufficient time for me 
to write to your Lordship and receive an answer. 

I should add, that some respectable persons not present 
at that meeting have said, to apologise for their intention 
of not supporting me in opposing the Bill, " We have 
resisted popular questions, and exposed ourselves to the 
nidignation of the people at large, by supporting Govern- 
ment ; but who is to defend us against their resentment, if 
the army, from the doubts now circulated, should be dis- 
solved V 



[chap. IV. 

Mr. Bushe accordingly moved for leave to bring in 
beads of a Bill for punishing mutiny and desertion, and 
for tbe regulation of the army, the consideration of which 
Sir Richard Heron moved to postpone for a fortnight, to 
Monday the 22nd, and the motion for postponing was 
carried at nine o'clock, by 146 to 75. 

In the course of the debate, there was an almost univer- 
sal declaration, from all sides of the House, of the necessity 
of some Bill to prevent the mischief that threatened. 
Many who supported the motion, avowed their intentions 
of supporting the Bill on a future day, and the majority 
was solely owing to the wishes of gentlemen to give every 
reasonable time to administration for considering;: the neces- 
sity of the measure. Some gentlemen declared that they 
would not, as jurors, magistrates, or in any other capacity, 
suffer the British Mutiny Law to be enforced, and the 
whole tenor of the debate leaves no room to doubt that few 
inferior magistrates will dare, if they were so disposed, as 
they are not, to act under that Mutiny Law ; and that 
whether the opinion of its having no validity here, is well 
or ill founded, in the minds of individuals the effect will 
be the same ; that the gentlemen most zealous for his 
Majesty's service are determined to support the Bill, and 
that an opposition to it would certainly rekindle that flame 
which was happily much abated, and might even expire if 
not supplied with fresh materials. The greatness of the 
majority, with the certain expectation of the Bill being 
introduced on the 22nd, will allay the fervor of gentlemen 
till that time. 

The impossibility of any effectual effort against it in the 
House of Commons is beyond a doubt. The dangerous 
consequences which must ensue, from its being rejected 
elsewhere, when supported and deemed necessary by the 
voice of the Commons, are too glaring to be minutely 



mentioned. And on the other hand, your Lordship will 
consider the fair prospect which there is of preserving the 
tranquillity of the kingdom, unless it should be disturbed 
by this question. 

There is no option left with respect to the question in 
the House of Commons, but admitting it, or giving a vain, 
weak, and embarrassing opposition. When it comes to the 
Council there is as little doubt, if I am not much mistaken 
in the sentiments of many of that board, that it will pass 
there. In addition to their sentiments on the subject- 
matter of it, the inexpediency of the Council stifling a Bill 
of such general desire, at this time, must influence; and 
then the not transmitting it, will singly rest upon my refusing 
to certify a measure, which I trust his Majesty's Ministers 
will not think eligible, and that it cannot be advisable for a 
Lord Lieutenant singly, by a power scaicely, if ever, exerted, 
to stifle a Bill of universal desire, against the sense of the 
Commons, the majority of the Council, and the general sen- 
timents of the nation. 

Having done my duty in stating these measures to your 
Lordship, and the time not admitting of delay, I shall hope 
for an expeditious answer; and if none such should come 
before the 22nd, I shall trust his Majesty will think I act 
the part most essential to his service, in pursuing that 
conduct which the exigency of the times, from every con- 
current circumstance, and the prevailing opinion, seems to 
me to require, in not opposing the Bill. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 




[chap* IV. 


Dullin Castle, 2\st May, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I received on Thursday last, the 18th, by Dawes the mes- 
senger, the honour of your Lordship's letter of the 14th, in 
answer to mine of the 8th instant, in which, after obser- 
ving that Mr. Bushe's motion for leave to bring in the 
Heads of a Bill for punishing mutiny and desertion, and 
for the regulation of the army, is too vague and unexplained 
a proposition to found a precise and determined opinion 
upon, your Lordship has signified to me His Majesty's 
pleasure, that if it proceeds upon the foundation of the 
British Mutiny and Desertion Bill not being in force in 
Ireland, and that it should be so framed as to assert or 
convey that idea, 1 should in that case oppose it to the utmost 
of my power } in every stage of the progress. 

The Money Bills being before the House of Commons 
when I received this letter, it appeared to me inexpedient 
for His Majesty's service to communicate any part of the 
subject of your Lordship's dispatch until these Bills were 
sent up to the Lords ; which being done yesterday, I this 
day appointed a meeting of such of His Majesty's confi- 
dential servants, and other noblemen and gentlemen whom 
it has been usual to call together upon subjects of im- 

At this meeting there attended, the Primate, Chancellor, 
Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop of Cashel, Duke of 
Leinster, Earl of Tyrone, Earl of Shannon, Earl of Ely, 
the Provost, Attorney-General, Mr. Flood, Mr. Foster, 
Mr. Burton, Sir Robert Deane, and the Solicitor General, 
to whom I communicated the above instructions from His 




Majesty, and I added that the measure was now no longer 
a matter of deliberation, and therefore it was equally my 
duty and inclination, to resist it by every possible exertion ; 
that the most fatal consequences might arise from its being 
brought forward, particularly as I could not but apprehend, 
though I had no official authority for it, that the Bill, if 
forced through this kingdom, might, from its particular im- 
portance, be laid before the British Parliament. I con- 
cluded ivith requesting, most earnestly, the support of all the 
friends of His Majesty's Government, and immediately 


I should have the highest satisfaction, if I could give 
your Lordship any hopes of my being able to stop the in- 
troduction of this Bill ; but I am confirmed in the opinion 
I have already stated to your Lordship in that respect. 

I shall to the utmost of my power, and according to the 
best judgment I can form, adhere to the instructions sent 
to me in your Lordship's said letter of the 14th instant, 
and I am humbly to express my most grateful acknow- 
ledgments to His Majesty, for His Majesty's gracious 
goodness, in not requiring me to take the unusual step of 
stopping this Bill by my sole authority as Lord Lieutenant 
of this kingdom, a measure of which there does not appear 
a single instance in the books of the council office, since 
the year 1711, when all the books preceding that year 
were destroyed by fire. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Buckingham. # 

* In a subsequent despatch, the Lord Lieutenant writes that Mr. 
Flood's decided opinion was, not to oppose the Irish Mutiny Bill. But 
even this advice was disregarded at St. James's. 





Dublin Castle,24th May, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The late unpleasing transactions of the House of Commons 
of this kingdom relative to the proposed Mutiny Bills, 
having been stated to your Lordship from the accounts 
given me by Sir Richard Heron, leave nothing for me to 
express, but the mortification I feel at not having been 
able to stop the torrent of popular prejudice on its first 
motion. The consequences are, however, of so much im- 
portance to His Majesty's service, that I will suppress 
every emotion which might divert my attention from re- 
trieving the step which that House has taken. 

I have been careful that the minds of men should be im- 
pressed with just ideas of the consequences, injurious to 
Great Britain and fatal to this country, if the legislative 
authority of the one should be formally denied by the 
other ; and the language of the day leads me to indulge a 
hope that the impression is made, and that prudence and 
moderation will resume their influence. 

I will not, therefore, despair, and your Lordship may be 
assured, that through every stage of the Bill, no exertion 
of mine shall be wanting, so far to model the several enact- 
ing clauses, that His Majesty's ministers may deem the 
transmittal of it not to be absolutely inexpedient^ 

I am just returned from passing the Money Bills ; the 

* In a letter, the ensuing day, he states that the heads of the Bill 
were postponed till Monday, and adds these significant words, " Your 
Lordship may be satisfied that the intermediate time shall be employed to 
the best advantage for his Majesty's service." 


Loan Bill has been read a first time in the House of 

I have the honour to be, Sec. 



Dublin Castle, 28th May, 1780. 

M\ Lord, 

The paper which I have the honour to enclose to your 
Lordship, intituled " Heads of a Bill for the better Regu- 
lation of the Army in this Kingdom, for Quartering of 
Soldiers, and the carriage of their Baggage," contains the 
su^estions of some oentlemen in the House of Commons, 
who are convinced that a Mutiny Bill of some sort is abso- 
lutely necessary to be passed in this kingdom, for the pre- 
servation of His Majesty's army. The gentlemen who 
espouse it, confess themselves to be alarmed at the serious 
consequences which may attend either the total rejection 
of a Mutiny Bill, or the passing such a Bill in this king- 
dom as may not be admitted in Great Britain. To avoid 
the confusion which must follow in either case, these 
Heads of a Bill are proposed in a form totally different 
from the British Mutiny Bill, without a single expression 
impeaching the validity of the British law to govern the 
army in this kingdom, and seeming, on the contrary, to 
carry that law and the king's prerogative into effectual 

At the same time, I evidently see that these Heads of a 
Bill do substantially assume the power of regulating the arm y 
by an Irish law, although a British law for the same purpose 
is in existence. 

Looking upon this proposition in the light of an altera- 
tion of the constitution, I should consider myself as bound 



[chap. IV. 

by your Lordship's dispatches of the 28th of March last, 
and of the 7th instant, absolutely to oppose and resist it. 
But your Lordship's letter of the 19th instant, rather seems 
to imply that His Majesty's instruction, which your Lord- 
ship was pleased to convey to me in your letter of the 
7th instant, does not contain a direct order to oppose a 
Mutiny Bill, unless "upon a supposition that the Mutiny 
Act passed in the British Parliament, is not binding in 

The favourite object of my ambition is to execute strictly 
His Majesty's instructions ; but your Lordship will now ob- 
serve wherein consists my difficulty. 

It is impossible to believe that any Mutiny Bill intro- 
duced into Parliament here, is not introduced with a view 
to supplant the British law ; but this may be done tacitly, 
and without an intimation of any such purpose upon the 
face of the Bill ; where then, my Lord, am I, under your 
Lordship's letter of the 19th, to seek for the suggestion 
that the Mutiny Act passed in the British Parliament, is 
not binding in Ireland ? If I am to look for it in the de- 
clamations of popular orators, I must instantly conclude 
that no Mutiny Bill, in whatever form it may be fashioned, 
is to be admitted. But if I am to pay attention to the 
language of individuals, and the Bill only is to speak, then 
I may understand your Lordship's letter of the 19th to 
imply a consent, that a Bill which does not expressly dis- 
claim the validity of the British law may be admissible. 
Such is the enclosed paper understood to be, and I have 
therefore not lost an hour in laying it before your Lordship 
for the consideration of His Majesty's ministers, and for 
His Majesty's commands, whether such Heads of a Bill 
are, or are not, to be opposed in council here. 

I must remark to your Lordship, that the paper is not 
yet in parliamentary form, nor has it been presented to the 




House ; so that your Lordship will not consider it as show- 
ing precisely the intended Heads of a Bill ; but I have reason 
to believe that it will be presented to the House on Mon- 
day next, as a substitute for those clauses in the Heads now 
before the House, which relate to internal martial discipline, 
and that clauses will be added relative to the conduct of 
the civil power. It is impossible, therefore, to say exactly 
what will be the Bill, as the House may adopt it ; but as 
soon as it shall be received and considered there, I will 
immediately lay it before your Lordship. 

In the mean time, I judged it expedient, from the delay 
of correspondence, and the necessity from the general si- 
tuation, of coming to a speedy decision, to give (undigested 
as the matter is,) such information of the state of this 
business, as depends upon me. Nothing can be more un- 
pleasing to my feelings, than the idea of adding to the 
difficulties of his Majesty's Ministers, by nice distinctions 
and unnecessary cavils. But as, from comparing the 
several dispatches received from your Lordship upon this 
subject, doubts may be entertained with respect to the 
full intention of them, your candour will excuse my re- 
questing, in a matter of such complicated importance, that 
the answer may be as expeditious and explicit as circum- 
stances will admit. In addition, permit me to mention 
that no difficulty can remain with me, when the line of my 
conduct is determinate!]/ marked, be it jvhat it may. 

I have, &c. 


The foregoing letters show to what extremes 
the British Cabinet were proceeding, and to what 
straits they were driving even their own execu- 
tive officer, when he, too, was obliged to remon- 



strate against the directions given to him to stifle 
the Bills in the Privy Council, and not suffer them 
to come before the King. Thus, all the efforts made 
in Parliament were vain : — the iron hand of the 
Minister weighed down the country. A Perpe- 
tual Mutiny Bill was irreconcileable to every 
principle of a free state ; and Mr. Fox went so far 
as to declare, on reference to it in the House of 
Commons, that in his opinion, " whoever advised 
such a bill, was guilty of high treason." The old 
constitutional doctrine was, that the preamble of 
the annual law should set forth the subject's right. 
44 Whereas it is illegal in the crown to keep a 
standing army in time of peace." But all these 
safeguards were departed from in the instance of 
Ireland, when the Irish army was regulated by a 
British Act. Accordingly the patriotic party in 
Ireland sought to render it parliamentary, and 
clothe it in a national, or at least in a constitutional 
attire. Mr. Bushe, therefore, on the 22nd of May, 
moved to bring in a Bill to punish mutiny and 
desertion. He spoke with great effect ; and it was 
said to have been the best effort he ever made in 

Gervase Parker Bushe was a man of a superior 
class. He belonged, (like the rest of the men of 
that day,) to the Augustan age. He was a man 
of taste, fond of literature, and an excellent clas- 
sical scholar. He was possessed of the clearest 
understanding, the most delightful temper, and 



the most amiable manners, — a courteous address — 
a playful and a polished mind. He had, as before- 
mentioned, distinguished himself by his opposition 
to the American war, and by a pamphlet which 
he wrote against British taxation, which circulated 
widely in England, and for which he deservedly 
got great credit. He was well versed in revenue 
business, and published a tract on the population 
of Ireland, which was ingenious and useful, and 
though not applied to fiscal purposes, was of much 
service in a political point of view. He had cer- 
tainly joined the court party, and taken office; but 
he did not in consequence separate from the popu- 
lar leaders, and all along there was a secret 
understanding— a national and honourable league 
between the distinguished men of that day — that, 
on the great questions, they would come over to 
the side of the people, and serve their country. 
On the present occasion, Bushe did so; and, 
strange to say, he did so with success — for his 
motion was carried by a large majority, and the 
bill w as read a first time on the 26th of May.* 

But this measure, so far carried ostensibly 
against the Government, served, as appeared after, 
only to embitter the disappointment, and aggra- 
vate the hardship of the case — it was, in fact, 
reculer pour mieux sauter. Government did so, 
and with a vengeance ; for their conduct nearly led 
to the disbanding of the army, and involving the 

* Bushe died at an early period of life in 1793. 



[chap. IV, 

country in confusion and civil war. Mr. Foster, 
on the 29th of May, moved a clause of rather ao 
insidious nature — namely, that the army should 
be regulated by such laws as the King has made, 
or may make, not extending to life or limb. This 
was carried by 117 to 80. Considerable time 
elapsed before the bill was returned from England, 
and on the 3rd of August Mr. Grattan complained 
of this delay, but Government gave no explana- 
tion. He stated that no army could exist in Ire- 
land, subject to the law of another country ; that 
neither the Commissioners of Revenue nor the 
magistrates would obey it ; and if the Ministry of 
England were to keep back this bill, he would 
move a resolution, 4 4 that any magistrate who 
acted under an English Act of Parliament, was 
an enemy to his country." 

Sir Edward Newenharn moved a call of the 
House for the 8th, when it was expected the bill 
would be returned. In consequence of the exer- 
tions of the Government, the House was very 
thin ; and it was manifest the Ministry were under 
great embarrassment — so much so, that Mr. Fitz- 
gibbon declared that if the Mutiny Bill was 
altered, he would be one of the first to secede 
from Parliament; — he saw no other alternative 
than to let the army pay themselves. Such was 
the embarrassment, that a party of soldiers escort- 
ing the equipage of the regiments encamped near 
Thurles, on applying to the Mayor of Clonmel 




for billets, were refused by the authorities, as they 
said there was no law to compel them to grant any. 
The party, however, was hospitably entertained 
and provided for, by the inhabitants of the town. 

It was clear, therefore, that the people would 
not obey the English law. Yet such was the in- 
fatuation of the British Ministers, and their deter- 
mination to stretch the royal prerogative to the 
utmost, that they not only altered the bill, but 
they introduced a clause rendering it perpetual ; 
and on the 12th of August it was read a first time. 
This astounding measure depressed the party 
greatly ; — they were downcast at the violence 
with which the Ministry proceeded ; and Mr. 
Burgh declared " that all ivas over, and that Irr- 
land was borne down;" and " that it was not 
possible for her to resist the tyranny of Great 

On the 16th the question came on. It was 
strongly opposed : — Mr. Grattan stated, " that 
the king had in Ireland an annual hereditary re- 
venue of 650,000/., which would render an army 
independent of Parliament. At the beginning of 
the Session, the House spoke to the Minister in 
another tone ; they denied the supplies, until they 
obtained their rights ; but this bill was an instru- 
ment of humiliation — their glory was fled ; the 
great power of Parliament was humbled in the 
dust ; and this at a time when the volunteers were 
daily reviewing and parading. If they passed this 

h 2 




bill, the situation of Ireland would be that of 
abject slavery. But I prophesy (said he) that 
if such a bill is passed, it will draw down public 
vengeance on the head of the Minister." 

Such, however, were the exertions of the Go- 
vernment, both in the House and out of the 
House, (as appears by the various letters of the 
Lord Lieutenant,) that they succeeded in getting 
a majority of 114 over 62. 

Edmund Burke, in his celebrated speech at the 
Bristol Election, when he w T as turned out for the 
part he took in favour of the manufacturers of his 
country, after alluding to the concessions on the 
subject of trade, which he said were extorted 
from the fears of England, adds, " This scene of 
shame and of disgrace has, whilst I am speaking, 
ended by the perpetual establishment of a military 
power in the dominions of the crown, without 
consent of the British Legislature, contrary to the 
policy of the Constitution, contrary to the decla- 
ration of right, and by this your liberties are swept 
away along with your supreme authority. Two 
illegal armies were seen with banners displayed 
at the same time, and in the same country. No 
executive magistrate, no judicature in Ireland, 
would acknowledge the legality of the army, 
which bore the King's commission ; and no law, 
or appearance of law, authorized the army com- 
missioned by itself." 



Increased ill treatment and discontent of Ireland. — Conduct of the 
Duke of Leinster. — Appointment of Lord Charlemont to the head of 
the volunteers. — His reply on the nomination. — Character of Lord 
Charlemont. — Letter of Lord Charlemont from Egypt. — His travels 
and adventures there. — His birth-day ode written by himself. — 
Poetical epistle of Lord Charlemont to Mr. Marlay. 

The total disregard manifested towards the wishes 
of the people, and to the advice of their leaders in 
the House of Commons, now began to be felt. 
Distrust and discontent seemed to have pervaded 
all classes of citizens. The sentiments of the 
British cabinet being known, the exertions of 
Lord Buckingham to oppose every constitutional 
effort, — "to employ his time to the best advantage 
for his Majesty's service' — (terms significant in 
themselves, and well understood by all parties,) 
— together with the King's commands to stop all 
popular measures at the outset, had roused the 
people to the highest state of indignation. Even 
the Duke of Leinster grew alarmed at the violence 



[chap. V. 

of the Government, and took a decided part with 
the people ; he strove to calm their passions, and 
regulate their ardour. His conduct will appear 
from the following letter: — 


Dublin Castle, June 10, 1780. 


I enclose to you herewith, by command of my Lord Lieu- 
tenant, for Lord Hillsborough's information, a newspaper 
printed here this day, called the Public Register, or Free- 
man's Journal, containing an account of a meeting yester- 
day, at a tavern in this city, of certain persons styling 
themselves the Dublin Volunteers, and publishing certain 
resolutions, moved and entered into by them, relative to 
the constitution of this kingdom; and am to observe, upon 
the Duke of Leinster's appearing there in the chair, that it 
was a Quarterly Meeting; and that I find, upon inquiry, 
that so far from these Resolutions being formed upon any 
motion of his Grace, or at his instance, that they would 
have been much more violent, had it not been for his 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Richard Heron. 

At a numerous Quarterly Meeting of the Dublin 
Volunteers, held at the Eagle in Eustace Street, Friday, 
June 9, 1780, his Grace the Duke of Leinster in the 
chair, the following Resolutions were moved, and unani- 
mously agreed to : — 

" Resolved, — That Great Britain and Ireland are, and 
ought to be, inseparably connected, by being under the 

CHAP. V.] 



dominion of the same king, and enjoying* equal liberty and 
similar constitutions. 

"That it is the duty of every good citizen to maintain 
the connexion of the two countries, and the freedom and 
independence of this kingdom. 

"That the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland only 
are competent to make laws, binding the subjects of this 
realm; and that we will not obey, or give operation to any 
laws, save only those enacted by the King, Lords, and 
( ommons of Ireland, whose rights and privileges, jointly 
and severally, we are determined to support with our lives 
and fortunes. 

" Signed, by order, 

" Francis Davis, Sec." 

Slighted, disappointed, discouraged by the Go- 
\ eminent, it appeared advisable to the people, 
that a more permanent union should be formed 
with the aristocracy, and that the highest men of 
the country should be brought into the ranks; 
accordingly, the volunteers proceeded to elect 
their generals, and the choice of their chief com- 
mander fell upon an individual whose love for 
his country justly entitled him to so proud and 
conspicuous a situation : Lord Charlemont was 
unanimously appointed ; and prior to his visit to 
the North, he made the following reply to their 
nomination : — 

Gentlem en, 

You have conferred on me an honour of a very new and 
distinguished nature, — to be appointed, without any so- 



[chap. V. 

licitation on my part, the reviewing-general of an in- 
dependent army, raised by no other call than that of 'public 
virtue; an army which costs nothing to the State, and 
has produced every thing to the nation, is what no other 
country has it in her power to bestow. Honoured by such 
a delegation I obeyed it with cheerfulness. The induce- 
ment was irresistible; I felt it the duty of every subject to 
forget impediments which would have stood in the way of 
a similar attempt in any other cause. 

I see with unspeakable pleasure the progress of your 
discipline, and the increase of your associations ; the inde- 
fatigable, steady, and extraordinary exertions, to which I 
have been a witness, afford a sufficient proof, that, in the 
formation of an army, public spirit, a shame of being out- 
done, and the ambition to excel, will supply the place of 
reward and punishment — can levy an army, and bring it to 

The pleasure I feel is increased, when I reflect that your 
associations are not the fashion of a day, but the settled 
purpose and durable principle of the people; from whence 
I foresee, that the advantages lately acquired will be ascer- 
tained and established, and that solid and permanent 
strength will be added to the empire. 

I entirely agree in the sentiment you express with regard 
to the exclusive authority of the legislature of this king- 
dom. I agree also in the expediency of making the asser- 
tion ; it is no more than the law will warrant, and the real 
friends of both nations subscribe. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, and 

obedient humble servant, 
July 15, 1780. Charlemont, 



Lord Charlemont was the most accomplished 
man of his day ; the most polished and the most 
agreeable. He was, in these respects, superior 
to any person that had yet appeared in Ireland, 
or, probably, that Ireland will ever again behold. 
His society was charming; he had the art to make 
every place and every company agreeable; and his 
conversation was so delightful that it disarmed all 
reflection. He was fond of humour, and liked 
sometimes to be severe, and occasionally indulged 
in sarcasm, but never on his company, He was 
full of spirit, of integrity, and of public virtue. 
He possessed ambition ; a great love of fame ; a 
great contempt for money, — the consideration of 
which never entered into his mind. He was in- 
corruptible. He was one of the few Irish peers 
who loved liberty ; and it may be truly said, that 
he was not only the jirst of those peers, but the only 
one among them who gave dignity to his station. 
His spirit and integrity would not permit him to 
yield to Government; but when the people had 
triumphed, he strove to reconcile the parties, and 
would not abandon the Government on a question 
which endangered it. 

One predominant feature in Lord Charlemont's 
character was, a sacred attachment to the British 
connection ; his desire was to keep well with 
England ; and he worked in favour of Govern- 
ment, not for this or for that minister, but for the 
Government* solely ; and was not only anxious to 
have the people supporting him, but to have the 



people supporting the Government. The preju- 
dice of party led some to say, that he was nothing- 
more than a "polished man with exquisite manners, 
but they were mistaken ; he was a man of excel- 
lent sense, and possessed a better judgment than 
many persons allowed him. He was at the head 
of a most powerful national army, supported by 
the upper classes, and comprising all. He as- 
sisted in leading them on to civil liberty ; he 
assisted also in guarding them against popular 
excesses; and, in both cases, he deserved the 
greatest credit, in both he rendered the greatest 
services to his country. He was flattered into the 
chair at the Rotunda, and joined the Conven- 
tion in 1783 ; and he certainly still kept with the 
people, although the people had broken with the 
Parliament; he favoured their addresses, and 
attended their meetings, and thus contributed to 
uphold them. But, though he seemed to encou- 
rage them in their error, yet he was thereby 
enabled to moderate, if not to control and guard 
the volunteers against any violent extreme, or 
any excess which would have tarnished the high 
reputation they had deservedly acquired. 

It was most fortunate that such an individual 
existed. His grave and civil character was neces- 
sary to restrain the ardour of the volunteers, and 
rescue them from their own excesses ; for he well 
knew that liberty loses half its value if it is pur- 
chased by a victory over the people.* There are 

CHAP. V.] 



times and there are occurrences when a man 
ought to stop, and should rather prefer to break 
with his party than go forward ; yet few men 
who have acquired popularity, possess courage 
enough to risk its loss. But Lord Charlemont did 
so — he hazarded his popular fame, at the most 
critical period, and rendered thereby a lasting 
service to the empire. His principles were noble 
as his mind was patriotic ; he possessed an abhor- 
rence of every thing that was low and base, and 
instantly gave up his borough when the question 
of Reform was under consideration ; tendering to 
the people that which had hitherto been considered 
as private property. 

Lord Charlemont was at once a patriot and a 
courtier; he loved the people, and possessed at 
the same time taste and manners that would have 
adorned a court. He afforded a rare instance of 
such a union, and would have done honour to old 
Greece in her best of times. He was certainly 
not devoid of vanity ; but if he had the defects 
that attend it, he had the virtues also. His 
keeping clear of the Court — his declining to 
accept office — and his lead among the volunteers, 
established him in the minds of the people, and 
gave him an everlasting reputation. 

Lord Charlemont wrote well ; his replies to the 
addresses from the volunteers are excellent, — and 
while they encouraged their spirit and formation, 
they gave a legulated tone to liberty. He was 



a good Latin scholar, and knew Greek remarkably 
well. He had travelled much, and was well 
versed in the Continental languages. He was 
fond of poetry, and composed some light and 
pretty things. His intimacy with the Bishop of 
Waterford, (Marlay) encouraged this pastime, and 
their mutual taste led them to an epistolary cor- 
respondence, partly verse, partly prose, full of 
humour, raillery, and wit. 

Lord Charlemont had formed a club, which 
was called the " Society of Granby Row." It 
was political as well as convivial, and Messrs. 
Grattan, Burgh, Langrishe, Yelverton, Doyle, and 
Sir Edward Newenham, were some of the principal 
members. It served the public cause, and assem- 
bled men who possessed inclination and ability to 
propose plans and digest measures for the ad- 
vancement of their country. 

The Catholic question was Lord Charlemont's 
weak point; he was at first unfavourable to their 
claims, and objected at an early period to their 
getting the elective franchise, when a measure of 
that description was in contemplation in 1785. 
The county that he belonged to was violent against 
them, and one of his ancestors had lost his life at 
the period of the civil wars in 1641. But his 
mind relaxed in 1793, and he did not oppose the 
measure ; and prior to the close of his life, he 
became friendly to the great question of Catholic 



Lord Charlemont's name will live as long as 
virtue, spirit, and patriotism are esteemed. 

A letter addressed from abroad to his friend 
Marlay, and some lines written to that individual, 
on a subsequent occasion, may not be inappro- 
priately introduced here, since they afford a proof 
of the goodness of his heart, no less than of his 
taste, and his playful disposition. 

Alexandria , September 6, 1749. 

My dear Marlay, 
A ship which is now on its departure for Leghorn affords me 
the first opportunity I have had for these three months of 
assuring my dear friend that my love for him still continues 
unimpaired, either by time or the variety of objects which 
hourly present themselves. The pleasure I have in finding 
this opportunity of an hour's talk with you, is greatly 
lessened when I consider that it is impossible for you to 
answer me— a voluntary exile — far out of the reach of ports 
and pacquet boats. Having satisfied our curiosity in Con- 
stantinople and the Greek islands, behold us at length in 
Egypt — the famous source of the sciences, and once the 
first country in the world for riches and magnificence. 
The Nile, so famous in antiquity for its nine mouths and 
no head, has been rising for about three months, which 
makes this season, for many reasons, the most delightful 
and curious for our purpose. As we are but just arrived, 
you can expect no account of any thing here; all I can 
say is, that every thing we meet strikes us with wonder. 
In a day or two, when we shall have well examined this 
port, we propose to set out for Grand Cairo, for which 
purpose we are now busied in getting ready our Turkish 
masquerades ; for 'tis necessary in that voyage to go 



[chap. V, 

travestied a la Turque, How many times I wished that 
you could but have seen us in some of the droll equipages 
we have been in during our abode in the islands, mounted 
on asses, and glad to get them ; pack-saddles, without 
either bridle or stirrups; seven or eight days without a bed 
to lie on, encamped on desert islands. — All these are stories 
which I long to tell you, but at present must hasten, for 
fear the vessel that is to take this should sail, — yet I have 
not a quarter done. My birth-day this year was kept at 
sea, between the islands of Crete and Coss ; the feast was 
celebrated with several actings, dutiful and voluntary,- - 
firing of cannon, &c. &c. No kind bard being here to 
write my birth-day ode, and the sea-gods being bad poets, 
I was obliged to cry my own ballad, and extempore, as you 
will easily perceive. 



My Marlay ! see the rolling years 

With certain speed our lives devour J 
Each day its due proportion bears, 

And nearer brings the fatal hour. 


'Tis one-and-twenty years this day 

Since first I drew my vital breath : 
So much the nearer to decay ! 

So much have I app roach 'd to death I 


He well hath lived, who, when the sun 

Departing yields to lowry night, 
Can say, This day my task is done, 

And let to-morrow seize its right. 





How many minutes, days, and nights, 

My soul recalling, finds mis spent ? 
In vain, to excuse misuse, she seeks 

Of time for other purpose sent. 


Oh, could I but recall the time, 

Could I but live those years again 1 
What, then? Perhaps the self-same crime — 

Regret again, and double pain. 


The price of time, like that of health, 

Is seldom known 'till each is lost. 
By want we learn to value wealth, 

And wish for summer, chill'd with frost. 


Tis past three years, 'twill soon be four, 

Since last I saw my chosen friend ; 
So much i* lost — and now they're o'er. 

Who knows if fate three more w ill lend ! 


No more of that. This festal day 

In harmless pleasure let us pass. 
One bumper toast — I'll show the way, 

'Tis Marlay's health — fill up my glass! 

Don't you think the tossing of the ship is in these 
lines? — I don't think my residence at Delos, the sacred 
birth-place of Apollo, has much improved me; but if my 
verses be not good, I am sure they are sincere. If I had 
time, I would give you another grand ode to Virtue — 



[CHAP. V. 

thank the wind and captain, you are safe for this time ; 
but you shall have it the first opportunity. 

I have been very busy measuring a column, above one 
hundred feet high, which is of one stone — a most beautiful 
granite, seventy feet long. The women here are most 
droll animals ; those of the Greek islands are deities com- 
pared to these gypsies. Sure never was letter written with 
such freedom of thought and of style as mine to you. — 
Prior plainly proves to us, that " he writes best who never 
thinks at all," — if so, this epistle is a master-piece. But 
would it not vex you to receive from Africa, another quarter 
of the world, such a parcel of stuff? — nonsense is the 
growth of every clime, but this is transplanted from Ireland. 
Besides, I don't see why my letter should not gain a value 
by coming so far — it certainly is a curiosity. However, do 
but judge of the length of my letter by how much you are 
tired reading it, and I am sure you will find it long enough. 

My love and good wishes and compliments to all my 
friends, masculine and feminine. If I should write any 
more, the ship would be gone, so for good reasons I shall 
conclude myself, 

Your most affectionate 

Faithful friend, 
Burton's compliments. Charlemont. 

The Ode to Virtue, which he here promised to 
send, somehow miscarried ; but the following 
verses will give an idea of his playful mind and 
taste. They were written after his return from 
his travels. 



Bath, January. 

Dear Dick, 

Tis hardly worth, I know it, 
Even to be a minor poet. 
But surely then, the devil's in him, 
Would deign to be a poet minim. — 

But, prithee, friend, what can I do ? 
I sit me down to write to you, 
In humble harmless prose — and straight, 
These cursed rhymes infest my pate, 
And down they must. Well faith, it's hard ! 
Sure, I've been bit by some mad bard ; 
And ever since that fatal time, 
I think, and write, and prate in rhyme. 
Thro' every vein the venom tingles; 
If I but shake my head, it jingles ; 
And thus my case, as bad, or worse is, 
Than, hung with bells, a waggon's horses', 
W hose din, incessant, while they stun him, 
Warns every passenger to shun him. 

Have you not seen a wretched squirrel, 
Condemned a cage with birds to twirl, 
Doomed to perpetual ding, dong, ding — ? 
The more he strives, the more they ring. 
Such is my lot — yet fate has granted 
One comfort still — I have not wanted 
Companions in my misery — 
There's Bushe is twice as mad as I. 

Bushe, to be sure, was doubly bitten, 
For, not contented to have written 
Of miscellaneous trash whole volumes, 
Odes, epigrams, and what do ye call 'ems, 
Facetious verses, where no joke great is, 
He tragic turns, and poisons Socrates. 




Yet, hitherto, there's nothing in't — 
I fear he will appear in print — 
There ! there's the rock on which we split, 
The press ! the touchstone of true wit, 
Where dangers dwell which heed no hinting— 
Brethren, beware ! beware of printing ! 
See, rather, spite of nature's cries, 
Your children burn before your eyes, 
Than send the brats abroad to be 
Their wretched parents' infamy — 
Rather than yield to be ashamed 
Whene'er you hear your offspring named, 
Nor dare to eat a tart, for fear 

You, Tereus-like. should eat your own dear children there ! 

I knew a man, who in his throat 

Could imitate the cuckoo's note, 

So very like, I well remember 

You'd swear 'twas August in December. 

His friends were pleased — thence sprung his ruin, 

And praised him for exact cuckooing. 

Thus puff'd, my gentleman essays 

T' enlarge the circle of his praise. 

Resolves to try, such was his rage, 

His talent on the public stage. 

But, here, alas ! his aim he missed ; 

In short, my gentleman was hiss'd ; 

What pleas'd in private wondrous well, 

The ill-natured public damned to hell — 

Nay, worse, whene'er he walks the streets, 

He's sport to every fop he meets ; 

His former merit turns to shame, 

And Cuckoo's now his only name — 

The very boys have got it — " Look who 

Comes here," they cry, " 'tis Cuckoo I Cuckoo !" 

Our provident kind mother, Nature, 

Has fixed in every human creature, 

At every age, in every station, 

A portion of self-admiration, 

CHAP. V.] 



By which this blessing we inherit, 
That no man thinks he wants his merit, 
Tho' strange, 'tis true, the self-same eye 
Can lessen, and yet magnify ; 
And while by Vanity's directions, 
We scarce discern our imperfections, 
Each smallest grace in our possession 
Is magnified beyond expression. 
Were it not so, poor wretched elves ! 
We all should hang or drown ourselves. 

Would Ross, or Cavan, think you, live, 
Did they their own defects perceive? 

Would R h, to all peers disgrace, 

Dare show his coronet or face ? 
Tho' avarice might make him falter, 
He'd strain a point to buy a halter. 
Tis this makes Beckford think he's fit 
To speak in the same house with Pitt, 
And Knight, the jest of every pew, 
Dare mount the pulpit after you 
Did ever lady leave her glass, 
Quite out of humour with her face ? 
Even Lum, when she is trick'd out snugly, 
Cannot persuade herself she's ugly ; 
And Mack, tho' blasted, ugly, old, 
With faults too hideous to be told, 
So nauseous, that were she thy lot, 
She'd turn thy hardened stomach, Scott ! 
Mindless of all her plots miscarried, 
Still fancies that she may be married. 

But chief and most, I know it well, 
We scribblers in this gift excel, 
Perverting still, and changing blindly 
To ill, what nature meant us kindly ; 
And spite of reason's wise instructions, 
Each author treats his own productions, 
As fond Tyrone y her squinting heir; — 
The boy has such a roguish leer. 
Kind self-conceit will thus assert you, 
Each vice to be its neighbouring virtue ; 

i 2 



[CHAP. V. 

The very slightest plea will serve us : — 

If our harsh verse runs rough, 'tis nervous; 

If easy flow the senseless line, 

'Tis music, melody divine; 

Obscurity's poetic diction, 

Low vulgar cant best suits affliction ; 

To prove it, Jones brings Horace, pat in, 

For Mounteny has taught him Latin. 

Fustians sublime, pert dulness, humour, 

I could produce you, not a few more ; 

Such instances, that every poet, 

Alas ! I by experience know it ! 

Blind with self-love, himself abuses, 

And still his own defect excuses. 

Such the disease — now let us try, 

To point you out the remedy ; 

I've found the means, which, well applied, 

Checks always my poetic pride. 

And brethren, if you would be cured, 
Probation est — your health's insured — 
Whene'er I, after scribbling, find 
Conceit begin to infest my mind, 
Or hope of fame my bosom fire, 
Straight to my study I retire, 
And there search out what bard soever, 
Has best performed what I endeavour. 

If tragic flights my thoughts engage, 
One scene in Shakspeare quells my rage ; 
If I have got the heroic stilt on, 
I read a page or two of Milton ; 
And viewing my own bombast after, 
Trust me, I scarce refrain from laughter. 



Mr. Grattan accompanies Lord Charlemont to the North. — Review of 
the volunteer corps. — Arrival of Lord Camden. — Address to him, and 
his reply. — His opinion on Ireland. — Address to Mr. Grattan, and his 
reply. — The Lord Lieutenant to Lord Hillsborough. — Services of Mr. 
Broome. — Astonishing increase of the volunteers. — Good effects of 
thesame. — The Mutiny Bill. — Mr.Grattan's conduct on the occasion. 
— The Lord Lieutenant's account of the debate on the Bill. — Disap- 
pointment but not despair of the patriots. — Mr. Grattan's advice to 
constituencies. — Resolutions in consequence. — Conduct of the Go- 
vernment thereon. — The Viceroy reproved by the British Minister. 
— Resolutions of the citizens of Dublin. — Meetings on College 
Green. — Expressed opinions of the nation. — Parliament prorogued. 

In July Lord Charlemont and Mr. Grattan went 
down to the North, and the different volunteer 
corps of that quarter were reviewed by them ; — 
those in Westmeath were reviewed by the Earl 
of Belvidere ; those in Sligo and Galway by Lord 
Clanricarde ; those in Londonderry by Lord Erne ; 
the southern corps by Lord Shannon ; the Lime- 
rick and Clare by Lord Kingsborough and the 
Earl of Inchiquin, whose corps bore as their 
motto, " Hibernia tandem libera" The Dublin 
and Wicklow corps were reviewed in the county 
Wicklow by Lord Powerscourt. 




At this time, Lord Camden, who took a great 
interest in Irish politics, and was in some degree 
connected with the country, came over to Ireland. 
Several of the Dublin corps were reviewed at the 
Phoenix Park in his presence. He expressed his 
surprise and satisfaction at their military appear- 
ance ; and the opportunity was taken to present 
him in the field with the following address : — 


My Lord, 

We, the colonel, officers, and privates of the Liberty Volun- 
teers, associated for our mutual defence against foreign and 
domestic enemies, and firmly determined, at the hazard of 
every thing we hold dear, to maintain the rights of the 
people, and support the real interest of the crown of Ireland, 
take the earliest opportunity to congratulate your lordship 
on your safe arrival in this kingdom. 

We are happy, in every opportunity to show our respect 
to virtuous men, especially at a time when honour, spirit, 
and virtue seem to have forsaken their native soil. Your 
lordship, who has never deviated from the path of virtue, 
justice, or manly support of your country, claims every 
mark of respect and gratitude which freemen can bestow, 
and conspicuous merit deserves. 

Edward Newenham, 
Colonel of the Liberty Volunteers. 

Parade, July 4, 1780. 



I am very happy that my public conduct has deserved the 
approbation of so respectable a corps as the Liberty Volun- 




teers of Dublin — respectable, not only in themselves as indi- 
viduals, but more eminently so, as they are a part of that 
noble association for the defence of their country, in these 
times of danger and distress. 

This compliment to me, is as flattering as it was unex- 
pected ; and I hope you will be pleased to accept, as the 
only return in my power, my poor but grateful acknow- 
ledgments for so high and undeserved a mark of your 

I have the honour, gentlemen, to be 

Your most obedient and humble servant, 


This answer was cautious and proper ; Lord 
Camden's legal mind could justify these associa- 
tions only from the exigency of the times ; but his 
opinions on the subject of Ireland were in unison 
with those of Lord Charlemont and Mr. Grattan. 
They met at Marino, and Lord Chancellor LifTord 
was of the party. The conversation turned upon 
the politics of the day. The Lord Chancellor was 
proceeding to praise the Irish Government, when 
Lord Camden observed to him : " America has 
been lost, because she has bad governors ; and Ire- 
land may one day be lost for the very same reason — 
from bad government." 

This was a remarkable sentence from a man 
who was not very bold in advancing opinions. 

Afterwards, Lord Camden went to Belfast, and at- 
tended the review of the volunteers that took place 
there; when Lord Charlamont, and Mr. Grattan 




as his aide-de-camp, were selected to inspect 
them. He was introduced to Mr. Halliday, an 
able advocate of liberty, and a leading man in the 
North ; and, on seeing the Northern army, whose 
conduct, appearance, and discipline he admired 
and extolled, he addressed to him these ominous 
words, " Keep it up ; keep it up ; for, rely on it, 
England will never forgive you." 

How truly spoken, and how prophetic this was, 
has been fully proved by Mr. Pitt's Government, 
the extinction of her Parliament, and the existence 
of Ireland as a nation. 

The following address was presented to Mr. 
Grattan at that period by the Newtown and Com- 
ber battalion. 


When so many virtuous citizens are disclaiming the 
usurped authority of an external legislature, and avowing 
boldly and honourably their ideas of our constitutionalrights, 
we should feel ourselves truants indeed to the cause of free- 
dom, and remiss in that duty we owe the community and 
ourselves, were we not to join in openly declaring our firm 
purpose never to acknowledge or acquiesce in the right of 
any power to bind this realm, save only the King, Lords, 
and Commons of Ireland ; and holding this a position of 
the most sacred nature, we conceive it must be maintained 
inviolate, to give any permanence to commercial advantages, 
ceded under the frail and fallacious tenure of expediency. 

Your virtuous and powerful efforts to get this important 
truth recorded on the Journals of Parliament, has gained 
our highest admiration ; and though unsuccessful in this 




point, we cannot deem your voice to have been raised in 
vain ; for the wisdom of your words has been re-echoed 
through the land, and wonderfully contributed to awaken 
in the breasts of Irishmen a just sense of their un- 
doubted claim to independence. In this particular, and all 
the rest of your parliamentary conduct, you have greatly 
served your country ; and if any thing can add to the re- 
fined satisfaction this reflection affords you, it must be the 
universal and generous applause of the wise and good, 
pouring out their acknowledgments of gratitude in the 
warmest language of the heart. Happy are we to have 
this opportunity of offering our small tribute of praise to a 
character so distinguished for approved worth and eminent 

Robert Stewart, Capt. Commandant. 
Parade, July 12, 1780. 


Sentiments so worthy of freemen, so honourable to your- 
selves, and serviceable to the public, I cannot hear without 
receiving the highest satisfaction. 

Gentlemen, this is the spirit which secures liberty, and 
adds to a free people, no inconsiderable share of reputation 
and splendour. 

You have done me great honour, and I assure you there 
is no part of my conduct I reflect on with more pleasure, 
than my constant attention and high respect for the armed 
societies. I beheld their infancy with an anxious expec- 
tation, and contemplate their progress with astonishment. 
May the bright appearance of this day prove an additional 
inducement to animate, continue, and increase them ! 

I cannot avoid observing how much the honour you con- 
fer upon me is increased, when I consider it comes from a 
body of men so numerous and disciplined ; and commanded 




by one whose rectitude and decision I have been long a 
witness to, and whose assistance in public questions I am 
proud to acknowledge. 

I am, gentlemen, 
Your most humble and obedient servant, 

Henry Grattan. 

Belfast, July 12, 1780. 


Dublin Castle, July 13, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The review of the military associations in the South by 
Lord Shannon, has ended as might have been expected 
from the appearance of so steady a friend to Government. 

Lord Charlemont, with Mr. Grattan as his aid-de-camp, 
are gone to the North to review the volunteer corps there. 
You may be assured I shall have attention to the proceed- 
ings of those corps, and if any matter of importance should 
arise, I will immediately communicate it to your Lordship. 

The observations which the transaction has pretty gene- 
rally occasioned, induces me to mention to you that when 
Lord Camden was in Dublin, six of the volunteer corps of 
this city were drawn out in the Phoenix Park, and per- 
formed their exercise before him, on which occasion an 
address to his Lordship by the Liberty Volunteers, with 
his answer, appeared in the " Freeman's Journal" of the 
6th instant, which I send your Lordship enclosed. He is 
gone Northward, where probably his curiosity may lead 
him to be present at the review of the volunteer corps in 
that country. 

It is reported that Lord Shelburne intends to honour 
Ireland with his presence ; but of this your Lordship must 
receive earlier information than I give you. 

I have, &c. 




In every part of the kingdom these associations 
started up, as if by magic, all armed and clothed 
in Irish manufacture. Uncouth as some appeared 
at first to be, and singular as were their uniforms, 
various as were their occupations, yet they im- 
proved with a rapidity that was surprising. They 
quickly learned the use of arms ; and directions 
to exercise military manoeuvres and evolutions 
were published and every where disseminated 
among them. 

Mr. Grattan's early friend, Mr. Broome, at that 
period in the army, and well acquainted with mi- 
litary duties, rendered on this occasion most im- 
portant services. He occupied himself in training 
and disciplining the cavalry ; and for his indefa- 
tigable, ardent, and active exertions, he received 
the thanks of the volunteers. The account of 
their reviews, the resolutions and addresses to the 
various patriotic members, with their answers, 
occupied, during the space of nearly three years, 
the newspapers of the day, and would of them- 
selves fill volumes. They selected their own offi- 
cers, nominated their reviewing generals, pur- 
chased artillery and cannon, tents and accoutre- 
ments for the field. All was done at their own 
expence. Presents of pieces of ordnance were 
made to various battalions. Every class, and every 
age assisted ; even the church sent forth its con- 
tributions in the cause of liberty ; and the follow- 
ing receipt is but one of the many that came from 
that body — " Received, January 9, 1780, of the 




Rev. Dean Marlay the sum of 71. 19$. 3d. by the 
hands of the Rev. Mr. Brownrigg, being a sub- 
scription to the corps of Gorey Volunteers. 

Stephen Ram." 

Even the female sex lent their aid upon this 
occasion ; and wove and ornamented colours 
which they presented, (accompanied with much 
pomp and circumstance,) to their favourite* corps ; 
they also took a pride in attending the various 
reviews in their gayest attire and handsomest 
equipages. These associations not only became 
fashionable, but were almost the only object which 
attracted public attention. Not to be in uniform, 
was not only considered as a proof of lukewarm- 
ness, but a mark of disgrace, and was used as a 
term of reproach in the House of Commons — 
where, on one occasion, it was imputed to a par- 
ticular Member that he was the last who had 
appeared in uniform. 

Meantime, the peace of the country was unex- 
ampled ; order reigned throughout the land ; the 
laws were better obeyed than they had ever been. 
The volunteers enforced obedience ; they attended 
to the civil as well as the military duties ; escorted 
the judges at the assizes, conveyed the prisoners 
to the several towns, and diffused through the 
country a spirit of order, as well as of chivalry ; 
and a temper to obey the laws, as well as a desire 
to vindicate the rights of their country. * 

* For specimens of the resolutions and addresses voted at this time 
by the volunteers, see Appendix, III. 


The strong measure on the part of the British 
minister, of rendering the Mutiny Bill perpetual, 
was a severe and unexpected blow to the popular 
party. It dismayed Mr. Burgh ; but it did not 
disconcert Mr, Grattan ; and it aroused the people. 
The subjoined was the statement made to the 
Government in England : — 


Dublin Castle, August 9, 1780. 


I am directed by his Excellency, my Lord Lieutenant, to 
acquaint you for the information of Lord Hillsborough, 
that Mr. Grattan yesterday in the House of Commons 
mentioned, there was a report, that the Bill for the better 
accommodation and regulation of his Majesty's army 
in this kingdom was to be returned, with an alteration 
making it perpetual. He therefore gave notice that he 
should oppose, to the utmost, the passing of the Bill in 
this form, and if the attempts were unsuccessful, should 
secede. He was followed in similar declarations by Mr. 
Fitzgibbon, Mr. Yelverton, and Mr. Forbes ; and Mr. 
Grattan added, that should the Bill be carried, he should 
not only join in seceding from the House, but appeal to the 
people in a " formal instrument." 

Mr. Foster said, although he thought it very improper 
to enter into debate at that time, he however could not help 
mentioning that he did not foresee any danger, from the 
alteration that was rumoured to have been made in the 
Bill, and that the proceedings they threatened were in the 
highest degree unparliamentary. 

I am happy to acquaint you, that the House by no means 


mr. grattan's conduct [chap. VI. 

joined in the violence of these gentlemen, but, on the con- 
trary, seemed greatly to disapprove of it. 

I have, &c. 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, August 17, 1780. 

My Lord, 

In the letter I had the honour of writing to your Lordship 
yesterday, I mentioned that the Bill for the better accom- 
modation and regulation of the army in this kingdom, was 
agreed to be debated on the commitment. 

The order of the day for that purpose being read, and 
the motion being made for the Speaker to leave the chair, 
the House immediately divided without debate — Ayes, 59 ; 
noes, 25. 

The House then having resolved itself into a committee, 
the debate arose upon an amendment proposed by Mr. 
O'Hara, for restoring in the first clause the words, for and 
during the continuance of this Act, and no longer, — which 
had been expunged by the Privy Council in England ; and 
about ten o'clock the committee divided — for the motion, 
62; against, 114. Mr. Grattan then observed, that any 
further opposition would be ineffectual ; but gave notice 
that he should, in the next Session, move the repeal of 
the law. The Bill was after this gone through and re- 
ported, and will be read a third time this day. 

Mr. Gardiner spoke remarkably well in favour of the 
Bill, as did the Provost, who voted yesterday against the 
Sugar Bill. Lieutenant-General Cunningham also exerted 
himself upon the occasion, and what he said had great 
influence upon the House. The persons of most conse- 



quence who supported the amendment were Mr. Grattan, 
Mr. Fitzgibbon, and Mr. Bushe. 

The Prime Sergeant, Attorney-General, and Mr. Foster, 
reserved themselves to answer what might fall from gen- 
tlemen on the other side of the House, Mr. Hussey Burgh 
and Mr. Yelverton not having spoken. But the question 
being put, and permitted to pass very unexpectedly, they 
were prevented from speaking; and I am informed that 
this circumstance occasioned the majority to be much 
smaller than otherwise it would have been, as about thirty 
members were shut out, twenty-five of whom would have 
supported Government. 

As the success of this measure is of the greatest import- 
ance to the tranquillity of this kingdom, I have sent the 
account of it by Captain Corbet, upon whose expedition I 
could depend. 

I have, &c. 


The defeat on the Declaration of Right, the 
Sugar Bill, and the Mutiny Bill, filled the patriotic 
party with alarm, but not with despair. Mr. 
Burgh's expression was that "Ireland was borne 
down by England" and Mr. Fitzgibbon considered 
all future opposition useless and unavailing ; but 
the result showed that men should never despair, 
while they have a just cause, and the people to 
support it. 

Mr. Grattan left town to recruit his health, 
which had suffered in consequence of his exertions 
during the Session, and addressed the following 
letter to his friend Robert Day : — 





Dear Day, 

I am going out of town till Thursday, and have only a few 
moments to write, what I wish most heartily was adopted. 
First-— To return thanks to our worthy representatives for 
their virtuous conduct, particularly in supporting a Decla- 
ration of Right, and an alteration of the Law of Poyn- 
ing's ; to assure them that we, their constituents, are 
thoroughly convinced of, and do most steadfastly main- 
tain, the propriety of such a measure ; that we hope they 
will persist to secure the independency of the King, Lords, 
and Commons of Ireland ; also to procure a modification 
of Poyning's Law, and limit the Mutiny Bill ; inasmuch 
as they conceive a perpetual mutiny law as unconstitu- 
tional, and dangerous to freedom in general ; particularly 
dangerous to personal liberty, and a measure both humi- 
liating and alarming. 

That we hope they will limit the Money Bill to six 
months, until such measures shall take place ; also to hope 
they will consent to no measure which in any degree may 
dissolve or diminish the volunteer associations. 

The same ideas may be thrown into the form of a test, 
which the constituents should prescribe to themselves. 

Yours, sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 

These were recommended by Mr. Day to his 
friends in the county of Kerry, and the idea was 
adopted and acted on with spirit and alacrity. 
The following resolutions were those that attracted 
the attention of Government, and were made the 
subject of complaint in England : — 




Dublin, August 14, 1780. 

At a very numerous and respectable meeting of the Gen- 
tlemen, Clergy, Freemen, and Freeholders, held pursuant 
to public notice, — The High Sheriff in the chair : — 

" Resolved, That the Sugar Bill, and the Bill for the 
better Regulation of the Army of Ireland, have suffered 
alterations in Great Britain, such as must render the former 
injurious to trade, and the latter subversive of liberty. 

H That a Mutiny Law, unlimited in duration, is against 
the fundamental principles of the Constitution, tends to 
make the power of the crown absolute, and to establish in 
this country a military government. 

" That any persons who shall be base enough to comply 
with the mandates of administration, in supporting these 
alarming measures, will justly forfeit all title to the future 
confidence of the people. ,, 

Dublin, August 17, 1780. 

At a meeting of the Merchants' Corps of Volunteers, 
Peter Digges Latouche, Esq., in the chair :— 

" Resolved, That the late decisions of the House of 
Commons (so destructive, in our opinion, to the constitu- 
tional rights, and injurious to the commercial interests of 
this kingdom), demand the most serious attention of every 

u That we consider their consent to the mandate of tha 
British minister, by which the Bill for the Regulation of 
the Army is made perpetual, and the control thereof for 
ever vested in the hands of the Crown, as a subversion of 
the Constitution, and a stab to the liberty of the subject. 

" That, considering the army of this kingdom as a body 





of men embarked in the cause of their country, and equally 
entitled, with ourselves, to the protection of its legislature, 
we cannot but feel for their situation, who, by this law, are 
in danger of being made, at a future day, the unwilling 
instruments of despotism, to violate the liberties of Ireland. 

" That we consider the compliance of that House, with 
the alteration made in the Sugar Bill by the English Privy 
Council, reducing the proposed duty on Lump Sugars, as 
an overthrow to the refinery of this kingdom, and a total 
obstruction to the extension of its manufactures, by an 
export to the British Colonies and West Indies. 

" That we will concur with the volunteer corps of this 
kingdom, and the rest of our fellow-subjects, in every effort 
which may tend to avert the dangers we are threatened 

" That the strenuous, though unsuccessful efforts of the 
minority of the House of Commons in defence of the Con- 
stitution, merit the thanks and firm support of every friend 
of his country." 

August 18, 1780. 

At a meeting of the corps of Independent Dublin Volun- 
teers ; Thomas Ashworth, Captain-Commandant, in the 
chair : — 

" Resolved, That by the late decisions of the House of 
Commons, in regard to the Sugar Bill, and to an Act for 
the Regulation of the Army in- this kingdom, We are con- 
strained to believe that our commercial and constitutional 
interests have been sacrificed to the advantage of indi- 

*' That the virtuous, though unsuccessful efforts of the 
minority of the House of Commons, in support of our trade 
and constitution, merit the thanks of every friend of his 




country ; and, that we will concur with the volunteer corps 
of this kingdom, and every other class of virtuous citizens, 
in every effort which may tend to avert the public danger, 
and recal those men who have betrayed the confidence of 
their constituents to a sense of public virtue. 

" That, as freemen or freeholders, we will not on future 
occasions vote for any person of the majority who divided 
in favour of the Bill to prevent Mutiny and Desertion, as 
altered by the Privy Council of England." 

In consequence of these resolutions, the Govern- 
ment held a council at the Castle : but, unwilling 
to involve themselves in a legal prosecution, they 
threw upon the House of Commons the invidious 
task of condemning the press, and censuring the 
people ; and thus the opportunity was afforded, 
which the Lord Lieutenant, in one of his let- 
ters, alludes to ; accordingly Mr. Conolly com- 
plained of them in the House of Commons, when 
there was a very thin attendance, and the House 
resolved, that they were " false, scandalous, and 
libellous, and tended to draw the people from their 
obedience, and raise discontents among His Majes- 
ty's subjects." The Viceroy complained of them 
to the British Government ; and was requested 
by the Irish House of Commons to prosecute the 
authors, printers, and publishers. This, however, 
was the extent of their indignation : they could 
not prosecute the people, who were equally guilty 
in sentiment, though not in expression ; and 
finally, the Government were advised not to pro- 

k 2 


ceed with the prosecution, lest it might aggravate 
and not allay. But the British minister reproved 
the Viceroy for his lenity on the occasion, and 
hence one of the causes of their disagreement, 
which ended in his recall. 


Dublin Castle, August 21, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Sir Richard Heron, by my directions, communicated to Sir 
Stanier Porten, for your Lordship's information, an Hiber- 
nian Journal, printed on Friday, containing resolutions 
entered into at a meeting of the merchants' corps of volun- 
teers, assembled at the Royal Exchange on Thursday last, 
and a Freeman's Journal of Saturday, containing publica- 
tion of a similar tendency with those in the Hibernian, 
and he mentioned that a consultation of the King's law 
servants was to be had as yesterday, to consider what 
might be proper to be done on the occasion. 

There were other publications of the same nature in the 
Dublin Evening Post of Saturday. 

At the meeting yesterday, which consisted of the Chan- 
cellor, the Speaker, the Prime Sergeant, the Attorney- 
General, and Mr. Foster, these publications were considered 
as highly criminal, and they advised that Lord Annaly, 
the Chief Justice of the King's Bench, who is in the 
country, should be desired to come immediately to Dublin, 
and that I should take the advice of His Majesty's confi- 
dential servants, and the supporters of His Majesty's 
Government, for my conduct upon a subject of such im- 

I accordingly summoned a meeting for this morning at 



my apartments in the Castle, at which were present, — the 
Primate, Archbishop of Dublin, Duke of Leinster, Earl 
of Westmeath, Earl of Shannon, Earl of Ely, Lord Clifden, 
the Speaker, the Provost, Mr. Conolly, Lord Chief Baron, 
Prime Sergeant, Attorney-General, Mr. Burton, Mr. Cle- 
ments, Mr. Foster, Sir Hercules Langrishe, and Mr. Towns- 
hend, being all who are now in Dublin or the neighbour 
hood, except the Chancellor, who was prevented by indis- 
position from attending, and the archbishop of Cashel, who 
excused himself. 

It was the sense of this meeting that the publications 
were an attack upon the legislature of this kingdom, and 
that the enclosed resolutions, which were prepared by Mr. 
Foster, the Attorney-General, and Prime Sergeant, should 
be moved in both Houses of Parliament, expressing their 
sense of them ; and to address me to order prosecutions 
against the printers and publishers, and also the contrivers 
and authors of them, when discovered. 

The House of Commons being adjourned to this day, 
Mr. Conolly, in pursuance of this determination, moved the 
resolutions, which were seconded by Lord Delvin, (the earl 
of Westmeath's son) who has hitherto acted uniformly 
against Government, and they were resolved by the House 
nemine contradicente. 

Sir Richard Heron stated, in his letter to Sir Stanier 
Porten, that Mr. Peter Digges Latouche, whose name ap- 
peared as chairman of the meeting mentioned in the reso- 
lutions contained in the Hibernian Journal of Friday last, 
was not one of the partners of the bank of Messrs. 
Latouche, but only a clerk in their office. When the reso- 
lutions were moved to-day in the House of Commons, Mr. 
David Latouche, the eldest of the sons in the partnership 
of that bank, arose, and expressed his abhorrence of the 
resolutions entered into by the Merchants' Corps of 




Volunteers, and informed the House, that the young man, 
who was his kinsman, had assured him he was forced into 
the chair — that he was ignorant of the resolutions intended 
to be proposed, being assured the intention was to move 
something respecting non-importation on account of the 
Sugar Bill ; also, that the young man was exceeding sorry 
for his having been present at such resolutions. The 
House of Commons therefore expressed their sense that he 
should not be included in the prosecutions desired by the 

The House of Lords is adjourned to Thursday, when 
this subject will be taken up by their Lordships, and similar 
resolutions will be moved by the Duke of Leinster. I have 
given full directions that proper attention may be had to 
the meetings proposed in this city ; also that the most expe- 
ditious mode of prosecuting the offenders may be adopted, 

I flatter myself that the firm conduct of His Majesty's 
Government, and of the two Houses of Parliament, will 
check these traitorous proceedings, and preserve the peace of 
this kingdom. 

The Attorney-General and Mr. Foster have upon this 
occasion acted with great zeal to His Majesty's Govern- 
ment, and with great firmness in opposing the attempts 
which have been made to disturb the peace of it. In 
critical situations, similar to the present, there must be 
some difficulty between the giving too much or too little 
alarm, especially, as however great the probability of keep- 
ing Dublin in a degree of tranquillity, it is impossible to 
decide upon the influence which the circulation of these 
seditious publications may have in the distant provinces. 
My own opinion, from circumstances too vague and com- 
plex to state particularly, is that the peace of the kingdom 
will be preserved. Yet this must be considered as an 
opinion only. I have, &c. 





Notwithstanding the denunciations on the part 
of Government, the people were not deterred ; 
these proceedings added fresh fuel to the flame. 
The people supported the resolutions of the volun- 
teers, and the citizens of Dublin adopted the fol- 
lowing on the subject. 

Tholsel, Dublin, Sept. 5th, 1780. 

At a most numerous and respectable meeting of the free- 
men and freeholders of the City of Dublin, held pursuant 
to public notice, 

William James and John Exshaw, Esqrs. High Sheriffs, in 
the chair : — 

Resolved, that we are convinced it is now necessary to 
have recourse to a Non-Importation Agreement, as being 
pregnant with greater benefits to the country than a partial 
and an imperfect grant of a nominal Free Trade — a trade 
(as now regulated) unsubstantial and unproductive, to our 
wishes delusive, to our wants inadequate. And we trust 
that the spirit and patriotism of our countrymen will effec- 
tually relieve this kingdom from the many disadvantages 
to which it has been so long subjected. 

Resolved, That we will not, from the date hereof, until 
the grievances of this country shall be removed, directly or 
indirectly, import or consume any of the manufactures of 
Great Britain; nor will we deal with any merchant or shop- 
keeper who shall import such manufactures; and that we 
recommend an adoption of a similar agreement to all our 
countrymen who not only regard the commerce and con- 
stitution of this country, but wish to preserve that valuable 
part of the community (our poor manufacturers) from a re- 



turn of those calamities out of which they were so re- 
cently extricated by the spirit of the nation.* 

Resolved unanimously, That we highly applaud the 
manly and patriotic sentiments of the several corps of Mer- 

* The subjoined was one of the many productions that were circu- 
lated on this occasion. 


Ye noblemen, in place or out, 
Ye volunteers, so brave and stout, 
Ye dames that flaunt at ball or rout, 

Wear Irish manufacture. 

Thus shall poor weavers get some pence, 
From hunger and from cold to fence 
Their wives and infants three months hence, 
By Irish manufacture. 

Nor richest squire, nor proudest peer, 
Need scorn our humbler homespun gear ; 
No stuff on earth will wear and tear 
Like Irish manufacture. 

May senators, with bawling throat, 
That 'gainst their country speak and vote, 
Be drest in tar and feather coat, 
Of Irish manufacture. 

Poor Paddy said he'd have free trade, 
And Johnny Bull was much afraid, 
He would his boasting true have made, 
With Irish manufacture. 

To couz and chouse him, then, with lies, 
So craftily did he devise ; 
And put his fingers in his eyes, 

Lest he should manufacture. 



chants', Independent Dublin, Liberty, and Goldsmiths' Vo- 
lunteers, and heartily thank them for their early demon- 
stration of zeal and ardour in the cause of their country, 
and that we shall ever be ready to join with them in de- 
fending our rights and constitution, and gladly and cheer- 
fully contribute to protect them from prosecution or 

Public feeling was strongly demonstrated on 
the 4th November, when the volunteers assembled 
round the statue of King William, in College 
Green, which was decorated by inscriptions and 
labels expressive of popular sentiment, but which 
were quickly removed by the authorities from 
Government. On one side of the pedestal was a 
label with the words, "Pro aris et focis." " In- 
creased prosperity and unanimity to the volun- 

He would not give him sugar plums, 
Nor let him e'er pick up his crumbs ; 
With galling screws he'd squeeze his thumbs, 
To spoil his manufacture. 

What though the paviour boasts his skill, 
And joins with Monkey Daffodil ; 
We do not think his Sugar Bill 
Is Irish manufacture. 

But if we'll all together stick, 
We'll give our enemies a lick ; 
And Manchester to the D — 1 kick, 
With Irish manufacture. 

* Two of the members who supported the measure in Parliament. 



teer army." " May the virtuous resistance of 
America prove a seasonable lesson to the British 
minister." — On the second side, " A speedy re- 
vival of a non-import and non-consumption agree- 
ment." — On the third, the figure of Hibernia 
weeping over the words, " Liberty, commerce, 
and constitution," and holding a label directed, 
" To the glorious volunteers of Ireland," with 
these words, " My beloved sons, act with firm- 
ness, perseverance, and unanimity, as Saviours 
of your country ; bravely demand a short Mutiny 
Bill, else bid a final adieu to public liberty." " An 
Equitable Equalization Bill, else commerce will 
become your poverty and ruin." "A Bill to 
render the judges independent of the crown, quam- 
dui se bene gesserint ; and as the current of public 
justice rests with the interested determination of 
prerogative, ask for a modification of the law of 
Poyning's, a parliamentary declaration of the 
rights of Ireland, and a Habeas Corpus Act." — On 
the south side, " Courage, perseverance, and 
triumph to the gallant volunteers who dared to 
censure corrupt representatives." " A free press, 
that palladium of public liberty." 

These were more than the mere opinions of the 
people ; not as Lord Hillsborough, in the subse- 
quent letter, called them — " the convulsions of ex- 
piring faction" they were the firm resolves of the 
Irish nation. But it was in vain to inform the 



British minister of this, — whether it were Lord 
Weymouth, Lord Hillsborough, or Lord North. 
National calamity seemed to be their only in- 


St. James's, Uth Sept. 1780. 

My Lord, 

Your Excellency's several letters to the 7th of this month 
have been received and regularly laid before the King. I 
congratulate your Excellency upon the happy conclusion 
of the longest and most troublesome session of Parliament 
that has ever been known in Ireland. 

I hope the scandalous publications and the riotous pro- 
ceedings of whch I have received accounts in some of 
your Excellency's letters, and in others from Sir Richard 
Heron, are nothing but the co?ivnhions of expiring faction, 
and that the propriety of your Excellency's conduct, 
assisted by the firmness of both Houses of Parliament, 
will at last secure peace and tranquillity to the distracted 
kingdom of Ireland. 

Your Excellency's speech, and the addresses of both 
Houses, do honour to all concerned ; and give me leave to 
observe, with great truth, that the Irish have reaped greater 
advantages under your administration than under any 
former that I can recollect ; a consideration that must give 
the greatest pleasure and satisfaction to the well-wishers of 
Ireland, as well as to all those who have the honour to be 
in the number of your Excellency's friends. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 




Alarm at St. James's. — Desire of the English Government to stifle the 
liberty of the press.— Opinion of the Lord Lieutenant and the Irish 
Attorney-General, Scott, against it. — Character of Scott. — His origin 
and change of opinion. — His desertion to Government. — His style in 
Parliament. — Extraordinary anecdotes of him, connected with the 
Rebellion of 1798. — Further proceedings and resolutions of the 

The publications alluded to in the foregoing 
letter having been forwarded to St. James's, oc- 
casioned much uneasiness. Lord Hillsborough 
wished to proceed at once, and attack the press. 
The Privy Council in Ireland were, however, more 
cautious, and thought it prudent not to indict an 
entire nation. 

This circumstance — the difference of opinion, 
and the delay in consequence, operated on the 
minds of Lord Hillsborough and Lord North, and 
they pressed the Lord Lieutenant on the subject. 



He replied with some expressions of dissatisfaction, 
and excused himself by transmitting to them the 
formal opinion of the Attorney General against 
prosecuting the press, which in this instance 
would have been tantamount to prosecuting the 
Volunteers of Ireland, and which was certain 
to have involved the entire kingdom in confusion. 
Mr. Scott further thought that it would not have 
been advisable to commence the administration of 
a new Viceroy by an act of such general hostility. 
Fortunately, his recommendation was followed ; 
but it was not pleasing to the British ministry, 
who appeared, in this transaction, to be wholly 
reckless of consequences. 

Mr. Scott, whose name is here mentioned, had 
taken for many years an active and important 
part in the politics of his country. He had been 
originally in the ranks of the people ; in his 
younger days he had followed Dr. Lucas and his 
party — lived with the opponents of the court — and 
was in principle and practice rather more than 
democratic. At one of the early College elections, 
he had taken a very active part on the popular 
side ; but after the accession of George III. he 
went round to the Government, and yielded to the 
solicitations of Lord Townshend, to whom he 
observed, with much humour and a little regret — 
" My Lord, you have spoiled a good patriot" Ac- 
cordingly, he was brought into Parliament to sup- 
port the Government, and came there to speak 




for them ; but being in this respect very deficient, 
he thought it wiser to make it up in another way, 
and consequently he changed his mode, and 
, attempted to terrify. He attacked Mr. Flood ; 
he supported Lord Townshend; he vindicated 
Lord Harcourt; he struck his breast — slapped his 
hat — appealed to his honour — and laid his hand 
upon his sword. It was parliamentary acting 
on his part, not speaking. 

Scott was a bold and even a fearless character ; 
some would have called him a daring adventurer. 
Yet he had not a bad heart ; he possessed an ex- 
cellent temper, much humour, great moral as well 
as physical courage, and was at any time ready to 
hazard his life for his party. These were his 
qualifications : they were above mediocrity ; cer- 
tainly not noble, and, to a supporter of Govern- 
ment, scarcely creditable. His mind was quick, 
and his manner was dexterous ; he had the art to 
make his services esteemed, and his personal 
exertions to tell with the Government, and he 
always weighed them in the scales of private 
interest and ambition. His principles were arbi- 
trary ; his love of liberty cooled after he left the 
people, and if a question had arisen, he would 
probably have ordered the soldiers to fire on the 

Scott was studious, and had read law, but not 
profoundly, and on the question of fiats he was 
mistaken. Though a courtier, he still was an 



Irishman, and never indulged in attacks on his 
country, as Lord Clare did ; nor did he ever seek 
to raise himself by depressing her. He had 
opposed the question of independence, disapprov- 
ing of the time when Mr. Grattan brought it for- 
ward. He said the country had got a free trade, 
and if she aimed at a free constitution, she might 
lose what she had acquired ; that she had got into 
harbour laden with commerce, and was going to 
put to sea again. This opinion was not wholly 
disinterested; for the fact was, that he had in- 
trigued with the opposition, and had given the 
Government before that, to understand, that if 
Ireland was to obtain a free trade, she would not 
demand a free constitution ; and it was this that 
induced Lord Hillsborough to write to Lord 
Buckingham, in March, 1780, that if any latent 
design existed of making attacks on the Constitu- 
tion, the Lord Lieutenant should oppose them, 
and prevent their being even transmitted to 
England. Anxious, therefore, that his predic- 
tion should be verified, the Attorney -General 
opposed the question of independence, with 
greater zeal, though he would not hazard his 
legal reputation when challenged to it by Mr. 
Flood, and assert that England had a right to 
make laws to bind Ireland. 

The anecdote of "Harry Plantagenet,"* which 
Scott applied to Mr. Flood, in 1781, was hu- 

* Irish Parliamentary Debates, vol. i. p. 123. 


[chap. VII. 

morous, and well told. Mr. Flood had annoyed 
him the night before, by laughing at his fears, 
when he complained to the House of the violence 
of the mob. The attack by Flood was a good- 
humoured joke, and the complaints of Scott were 
a serious farce; but he had cunning enough to 
make them relished at the Castle ; and in doing 
so, he admirably succeeded, for he gratified both 
his avarice and his ambition. 

After the death of Mr. Tisdall, Scott was ap- 
pointed Attorney-General ; and under Lord North- 
ington he was made Prime Sergeant. Shortly 
afterwards, he obtained the title of Earlsfort, then 
of Clonmell, and then the Chief Justiceship of 
Ireland. He became, however, discontented, quar- 
relled with the Government, was slighted by Lord 
Clare, was assailed and annoyed by the press, and 
died (it may be suspected) broken-hearted. 

Scott did not act upon any regular system ; but 
having deserted one standard, he would not after- 
wards abandon another; and having bade farewell 
to fame and popularity, he hoped to find a refuge 
and a solace in wealth and titles. He did not 
hate liberty, neither did he hate the people ; but 
he certainly was not in love with either, nor 
would he have made battle for them. Still, his 
heart was good ; and he was neither deaf to the 
calls, nor insensible to the feelings, of humanity ; 
and he proved this at the period of the insurrec- 



On the Roman Catholic question, his mind 
was open and liberal ; and prior to 1795, he gave 
it as his opinion, and wrote a very decided letter 
expressing his sentiments, that the country never 
would be at peace until the Roman Catholics 
were emancipated, and the restrictive statutes 
entirely repealed. 

The following anecdote, which reflects such 
credit upon his character, was communicated by 
one of his own relations. Shortly before his death, 
he sent for his nephew, Dean Scott,* got him to 
examine his papers, and destroy those that were 
useless. There were many relating to politics, 
that disclosed the conduct of the Irish Govern- 
ment at the period of the disturbances in 1798. 
There was one letter in particular, which fully 
showed their duplicity, and that they might have 
crushed the rebellion ; but that they let it go on, 
on purpose to ca^ry the Union, and that this was 
their design. When Lord Clonmel was dying, 
he stated this to Dean Scott, and made him 
destroy the letter ; he further added, that he had 
gone to the Lord Lieutenant, and told him, that 
as they knew of the proceedings of the dis- 
affected, it was wrong to permit them to go 
on — that the Government, having it in their 

* Dean Scott was married to Miss Charlotte Bushe, Mr. Grattan's 
mece, and he communicated this statement with the knowledge that 
it would be made use of in a work of this nature ; but he would neither 
disclose the name of the person who wrote the letter, nor more of the 
contents than above mentioned. 





power, should crush them at once, and prevent 
the insurrection. He was coldly received, and 
found that his advice was not relished. That of 
Lord Clare, Mr. Foster, and Bishop Agar had 
predominated ; and, in consequence, he was not 
summoned to attend the Privy Council on 
business of State. — (His health not being good, 
was advanced as the excuse.) On ordinary affairs, 
however, he still received a summons. 

As an instance of the knowledge the Govern- 
ment had of the persons engaged in the rebellion, 
Lord Clonmel mentioned this extraordinary cir- 
cumstance, — that, previous to it, he had been 
visited one evening by a person in the middle 
ranks of life, with whom he had been well ac- 
quainted. This man told him how much he 
valued him, and that his life was in danger ; that 
some persons, well known to him, (the speaker,) 
meant to make him their victim ; that, as his 
health was not good, a colourable pretence af- 
forded itself for his going off to England with his 
family, and that if he did not, he would be as- 
sassinated. Lord Clonmel thanked him, told 
him he valued his own life very much, but that 
he valued his also, and therefore would wish him 
to go off to England instantly; for that he was 
suspected, and known to Government. The man 
would not believe it possible. Lord Clonmel 
then told him where he had been, with whom, and 
what he had been doing on such and such particular 




nights; that Government k?iew every thing connected 
with the movements of the conspirators ; and that in 
a short time he would be seized, and probably ex- 
ecuted. The man was terrified, and went off to 
England the next day. The night after, Govern- 
ment sent to his house to apprehend him, but he 
was gone ! To Lord Clonmel he owed his life. 

Any comment on these extraordinary facts 
would be superfluous. Posterity will pronounce 
its sentence ; and another more awful tribunal — 
that which awaits man hereafter ! 

The volunteers now proceeded to make more 
effectual arrangements, and a more complete or- 
ganization for their future military proceedings : 
they selected their general officers ; they ap- 
pointed places for their provincial reviews ; they 
published the following Resolutions, which spread 
rapidly through the country ; and, acting in this 
legal and constitutional manner, they baffled the 
Government, and set at defiance the threatened 
measures of the British minister. 

The following Resolutions, recommended at a meeting of 
officers, who had been present at the Newry Review, on 
the 21st and 22nd of August, have been adopted unani- 
mously, by the several corps, as underneath. 

" Resolved, — That under the British constitution, which 
we claim and are resolved to enjoy, it is the right of every 
subject to express freely his sentiments concerning the 
conduct of every branch of the legislature, but particularly 

l 2 



that branch which derives its whole power and dignity 
from the people. 

"That when the liberty of the press is invaded, liberty 
itself is in danger; and when its delegated protectors seem 
to forget the ends of their delegation, it is the duty of their 
constituents to assist their recollection. 

" That we have heard with concern and astonishment 
that the House of Commons of Ireland has adopted an 
alteration made by the Privy Council of England in the 
Bill for the better Regulation of the Army of this kingdom; 
an alteration of the most alarming tendency, as it takes 
from both our Houses of Parliament the power of exer- 
cising that immediate and effectual controul over the army, 
which we consider as absolutely necessary for the preser- 
vation of the freedom of Great Britain and Ireland. 

" That we consider the compliance of the House with 
the alteration made in the Sugar-Bill by the English Privy 
Council, reducing the proposed duty on lump-sugar, as an 
overthrow to the refinery of this kingdom, and an obstruc- 
tion to that extension of its manufactures, which might 
have been expected from a free export to the British set- 
tlements and colonies, and with the hopes of which we 
were insidiously led to amuse ourselves. 

" That we are firmly convinced that the influence of the 
Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be dimi- 
nished; and that the freedom of the country can only he 
preserved by the spirit of the people, and the virtue of the 
House of Commons. 

" That we therefore solemnly bind ourselves to use every 
legal and constitutional means, in order to obtain, as soon 
as possible, a repeal or amendment of the law for the better 
regulation of the army, and an increase of the duty on 
refined sugar imported ; and if such repeal or amendment 
shall not be obtained before the next election, we bind our- 




selves not to vote on that or any other such occasion, for 
any candidate, who will not previously pledge himself to 
vote for and support these measures, with all his power 
and ability; and we will, on every occasion, and by every 
constitutional means in our power, oppose the re-election 
of such members as voted for these bills in their present 

"That the strenuous, though unsuccessful efforts of the 
minority of the House of Commons, in defence of our con- 
stitution and commerce, merit the warm thanks and firm 
support of every friend of his country. 

u That we are determined to persevere in the exercise 
of arms, and recommend the same resolution to our 
brethren in every part of the kingdom, and to as many 
others as have not yet sufficiently considered its necessity ; 
and rather than submit to the perpetual establishment of mar- 
tial law in this country, we are ready to engage, as citizens 
atid soldiers, to undergo the toil and discipline that may be 
necessary in order to support the police, and to enforce the 
due execution of the law of this land. 

" That committees of correspondence be appointed, in 
order to secure that co-operation of the volunteer corps of 
this kingdom, which, at the present period, appears not 
only highly expedient but absolutely necessary. 

" That these Resolutions be published." 
Oriel First Volunteers Captain Francis Evans 

Oriel Second Captain Michael Wright 

Tullyhappy Captain James Dawson 

Lisdrumhur Captain John Ingram 

Tyrone Ditches and Acton Major Francis Dobbs 
Clare Capt. Lieut. Alex. Patton 

Armagh First Capt. Lieut. Sam. Maxwell 

Lislooney Captain Harris 

Sheepbridge Captain William Gordon 




Lisburne True Blue 
Lisburne Fuzileers 
Rakenny True Blue 
Newry Troop of Rangers 
Newry First Volunteers 
Newry Third 

Captain Samuel Barber 
Captain James Law 
Captain Robert Purden 
Captain William Todd Jones 
Secretary James Deane 
Captain Thomas Benson 
Captain Joseph Pollock 
Captain David Bell. 

Province of Leinster, Royal Exchange, 

November 10, 1780. 
The deputies from the following corps, having met pursuant 
to public notice, Colonel Hayes in the chair: — County 
Dublin light dragoons ; Rathdown light dragoons, county 
Dublin; Rathdown carabineers, county Wicklow ; Dublin 
light horse; Union light dragoons; cavalry of Arlington 
legion ; independent Wicklow horse ; Meath light dra 
goons; Curragh rangers; Kilkenny rangers; Naas rangers; 
Naas corps of light infantry; Ralph's Dale grenadiers; 
Skreen volunteers ; Slane, Duleek, Drogheda, and Dun 
dalk corps of infantry ; Rathdown infantry, county Dub- 
lin ; Rathdown infantry, county Wicklow ; independent 
Wicklow foresters; Rockingham volunteers; Talbot's- 
town invincibles ; Dunlavin independents ; Aldborough 
legion ; Wexford independents ; Longford infantry ; New- 
castle and Donore union ; South Coolock, North Coolock, 
Upper Cross fuzileers; Dublin volunteers; goldsmiths', 
lawyers', merchants', liberty, and independent Dublin 
volunteers, &c. 8cc. The following Resolutions were come 
to, viz. : — 

" Resolved unanimously, — That, preparatory to a pro- 
vincial review, it will be expedient to have three reviews, 
at three of the most convenient places in said province. 

" That the first of the said reviews be held at Dublin, 




on Tuesday, the 5th of June next ; and it is recommended 
that the second be held at Bellew's-town, in the county of 
Meath, on the 1st of July next; and the third, at Carlovv, 
on the 1st of August. 

" That deputies from such corps as choose to attend the 
first of said reviews, do meet at the Royal Exchange, 
Dublin, the 2nd of February next, at one o'clock, to 
appoint a reviewing general, and an exercising officer, and 
to transact such other business as shall be necessary." 



Removal of the Lord Lieutenant. — Lord Carlisle appointed Viceroy' 
— Administration of Lord Buckingham reviewed. — State of Ireland 
before and after his rule. — To whom and what her misfortunes were 
owing. — Degrading means of obtaining majorities. — Disgraceful 
state of the Pension List. — Mr. Grattan's speech on the sale of 
peerages. — His prophetic anticipation of the consequences of cor- 
ruption. — Letters of Lord Buckingham confirming the charges of 

In the month of September Parliament was pro- 
rogued, after having failed in their resistance to 
an English Mutiny Bill, and having passed merely 
the Tenantry Bill. The surrender of Charlestown 
to Lord Cornwallis in the month of May, and the 
victory obtained by him in August over the Ame- 
ricans under General Gates, at Camden, had 
given to the Ministry a short-lived confidence, 
which had operated to the injury of Ireland, and 
proved fatal to the Mutiny and Sugar Bills. 

As the Lord Lieutenant had now held that 
office nearly the allotted time, and the aspect of 
affairs had not much improved under his manage- 
ment, it was thought advisable to remove him ; 


and, accordingly, on the 29th of September, Lord 
Hillsborough informed him that the King had 
nominated Lord Carlisle his successor. 

The administration of Lord Buckingham merits 
attention. During his Viceroyalty, the most im- 
portant subjects were discussed ; the most vital 
measures were proposed ; and the greatest efforts 
were made by the people in favour of the country. 
His letters show how he opposed Irish freedom, 
and how zealous he was to uphold the British 
interest, which at that time was but another 
phrase for Irish subjection. He appears to have 
been a vain-glorious and pompous character, who 
fancied he could do every thing himself; but the 
whole extent of whose abilities consisted merely 
in purchasing, and at a dear rate, majorities in 
Parliament: the worst, the vilest, and most de- 
grading of occupations. 

WhenLord Buckingham came over to Ireland, he 
found some things in his favour. Several of the men 
who had opposed his predecessors were retained in 
his service; so that they were compelled to support 
his administration ; or if they attempted to oppose 
it, they could only do so occasionally upon trifling 
questions, and without public effect, because with- 
out public character. The abilities of some being 
thus retained or discredited, the Viceroy had other 
advantages ; he had to deal with the shattered 
and disgusted relics of former party, whose attacks, 
often repeated, began to turn to despair ; and who 



were left at large to brood over personal disappoint- 
ment. There was, then, as is generally the case 
under every new Minister, much corruption, much 
dereliction of duty, an interested partiality, much 
open-mouthed credulity, and some folly. There 
were men who, under the pale flag of affected 
moderation, covered a want of zeal, and felt an 
itching to be of consequence in a court which of 
itself had none. 

The minds of men in Ireland, jaded by repeated 
injuries, had indurated towards public grievances, 
and with languid despondency they despaired of 
any improvement in their fortunes. The bills from 
England, though Lord Buckingham had no merit in 
them, served him ; he had opposed them in public, 
and in private had decried all efforts in behalf of 
the liberties of the country. Yet the bills that were 
passed served him ; though not to come into ope- 
ration till years after, — they were in the mouths 
of his servants, who gave him all the merit ; 
though he had infinitely less merit in obtaining 
them than the Opposition, who urged the question 
of free trade, and considerably less than the Eng- 
lish Minister, who had pursued a frantic course 
of civil war, and thereby gave independency to 
America and commerce to Ireland. 

Lord Buckingham's Administration found Ire- 
land plundered even beyond the patience and 
example of a Roman province. * Pimps, parasites, 

* Inl763 ; there stood a pension of 1000/. a-year in the name of George 



and prostitutes disgraced the Government, weighed 
clown the establishment, and beggared the com- 
munity ; the expense was intolerable from its in- 
famy, from its weight, and from the incapacity 
of the nation to bear it. Every possible trial had 
been granted, and all was found insufficient ; and 
after the experience of years, the result of the 
people's utmost bounty, and of the Minister's 
management, proved that Ireland could no longer 
bear the system of plunder. 

Yet Lord Buckingham's Ministry had a species 
of merit ; for it reconciled the people in some de- 
gree to bear the continuance of the system — ex- 
pensive and disgraceful as it was — and that, too, 
at the recommendation of a Lord Lieutenant who 
had no public character nor capacity. The sine- 
cure list, which had been increased to insult and 
ridicule, was not diminished ; every new place, 
every additional salary, and every series of masked 
pension, was continued ; and, in more than one 
instance, they continued a pension annexed to a 
sinecure, after the former proprietor was promoted 
to another, who would not, and, from his profes- 
sion could not, do the duty, if any had been at- 
tached to it. In collecting the revenue, there 

Charles, but in reality granted to Monsieur De Verois, the Sardinian 
ambassador, for negociating the peace that had been just concluded with 
France. A pension was also granted to an individual, well known as 
the pimp to a leading character of that day; and the name of His Grace 
the Primate of Ireland was actually affixed, though no doubt uncon- 
sciously, to the letter thus rewarding this unworthy person. 



was no diminution ; the profusion was glaring, 
when the expense of collecting was compared 
with the thing collected. 

Under these circumstances, the Viceroy might 
have rendered a service to the country, without 
being a statesman or a financier. He could not 
protect the people ; he could not march the troops ; 
he could not camp the army ; and he had not in 
the treasury money enough to buy bread for the 
soldiers. He was obliged to borrow 20,000/. 
from Mr. La Touche, to pay the troops ; and 
his letters show the degraded state to which the 
country was then reduced. 

The Judges' Bill was rejected by the interpo- 
sition of Lord Buckingham. The bill had been 
promised by the English Ministry, and then dis- 
approved of ; but they were ashamed to throw it 
out, and left it on the Lord Lieutenant, who threw 
it on the Irish House of Lords, with whom he in- 
terceded against a bill for the independency of 
justice ; — a measure which was necessary for the 
subject, according to the declaration of George the 
Third, when he came to the throne — that first 
boast of his reign, and the best effusion of the royal 
heart. This bill had been promised expressly to Ire- 
land. Even the violent Ministry of Lord Towns- 
hend, and the shameless one of Lord Harcourt, had 
transmitted it to England. Yet Lord Buckingham, 
by his personal exertions, threw the bill out of 
Parliament, canvassing the Peers, spiritual and 



temporal, against the establishment of the inde- 
pendent and impartial administration of justice. 
To save the British Cabinet, he disgraced the 
House of Lords, and sacrificed the bench of jus- 
tice ! 

Where distress so general and so uncommon 
befals a country, it is not easy to suppose that it 
could happen without some want in the repre- 
sentatives of the people, either of sagacity or 
virtue. But, on the side of the popular party, it 
might be truly said, that they had not laid the 
foundation of the calamity that afflicted the 
country, either by voting against reduction of the 
expenses, or by opposing an application to the 
King for the redress of grievances ; and they had 
not been instrumental in any way to the sad 
situation of public affairs, either by continuing the 
embargo for two years and a half, to the ruin of 
the provision trade, or by inflaming the Ameri- 
cans with an address against their liberties, which 
destroyed the linen trade ; and they had protested 
against a system, which in Ireland was infatuated 
and ruinous. It must be admitted, therefore, that 
the character of the patriots of that day stands 
unim peached, while that of the Irish and the 
British ministers stands without justification. 

The entire system that was adopted, is dis- 
closed in the letters which we shall presently 

When the dull business of Government is only 



exacted from Parliament, there will be always ho- 
nest veterans enough to discharge it. A moderately- 
disposed Court, which asks only for the usual 
measures, may command a majority; but when 
an awkward Court is violent in its enterprizes, 
more than ordinary artifices become indispensable, 
and place, pension, and promises must advance 
as trusty subsidiaries. This was the case with 
the Irish Government ; nor was it confined to the 
solitary period of the Buckingham administration. 
The pension-list was unsparingly resorted to. 
On it there were some respectable characters; 
Prince Ferdinand, Sir Edward Hawke, the Royal 
family, and a few others. Their merits and their 
birth had a claim upon the nation ; but the re- 
mainder of the list swarmed with characters 
which sullied merit by the contact, and which 
neither merit nor royalty could dignify ; and now 
it was to be augmented for the worst of purposes 
— to buy the Commons. 

Desert in every state, above all, in a free state, 
should be the object of public bounty as well as 
public affection ; and it was singular, that a nation 
so sensible of merit as England, and so addicted 
to public bounty, should not have devised some 
other means of donation than those by which the 
citizen was disgraced, and detached from his 
country. Reading the history of Rome, if, in- 
stead of admiring the modest bounty to reward 
the virtues of her citizens, we beheld the gravity 



of the Senate pensioning Cethegus, Lentulus, 
and Clodius and his sister, on an exhausted re- 
public, what should we think of her wisdom oi- 
lier purity ? And, in like manner, what can be 
thought of that Government which selected the 
vices of the citizens, and made them a rent-charge 
upon the country ? The state of a commonwealth 
must be desperate, when it is governed by the 
baseness instead of the virtues of human nature. 

The letters of Lord Buckingham show by what 
means the cause of the people was defeated, and 
what the Viceroy considered to be rendering a 
service to his sovereign. Corrupting both Houses 
of Parliament, in order to keep the people in 
slavery ; degrading the peers, to purchase the 
Commons ; prostituting the pension-list — that gulf 
in which he proposed that his Majesty should 
lay the turbulent phantom of public spirit in Ire- 
land ; — these were the fitting occupations of the 
Viceroy;* — this was what he calls, "employing 
his time to the best advantage of his Majesty's 
service" The Declaration of Rights, proposed 
by Mr. Grattan, he called "an improper mea- 
sure but the purchase of the House of Com- 
mons, and the buying its members, he considered 
good for the King's service ; and so intent on his 
object did he seem to be, that he declared, "no 
difficulty should remain with him, when his con- 

Letter, 2Gth May, 1780. 

f Letter of 12th April, 1780. 



duct was marked out, be it what it might"* He 
had not only entangled himself, but embarrassed 
the King; having, as he says, " contracted abso- 
lute engagements, to secure a majority in the House 
of Commons." \ He had thus involved his royal 
master in this direct bribery : for it appears, that 
the Viceroy would not have acted in the trade 
of corruption without positive orders; and he 
accordingly states, that " he had received the 
Kings directions to oppose the measures of the 
patriots, to the utmost of his power. "J. The King's 
commands were, not to transmit the bills ; and for 
such services, men were to be rewarded ! 

Such a wholesale system of corruption, flowing 
from St. James's, and tainting the subjects of the 
realm, was hardly ever surpassed in the most 
corrupt periods of the annals of Parliament; § when 
the employment of Government was to court the 
vices of the subject, and the representative of 
majesty went about, like an obscene hawker, 
presenting by stealth his shameful merchandize ; 
or resembling a criminal, who bribes off the evi- 
dence, that the forms of conviction may fail on 
the day of trial. Thus were the prerogatives of 
the King degraded, the nobles of the land de- 
based, the representatives of the people cor- 
rupted, and the nation held in servitude and 

* Letter of 28th May, 1780. f Letter of 19th November, 1780. 

X Letter of 21st May, 1780. § The period of the Union is an exception- 



The indignant and eloquent language that 
Mr. Grattan applied to this unconstitutional and 
ignominious traffic was delivered some years after, 
on a motion by him, condemning the sale of 
peerages under the Marquis of Buckingham, in 
1789. He and Mr. George Ponsonby offered to 
prove the fact at the bar of the House. It was 
said, the case they alluded to was that of Lord 
Kilmaine. The proceedings disclosed in the 
letters in question had not then transpired. 

" You may cast a veil over families, but honour, 
that sacred gem, you have cast in the dust. I ask 
you, is there any man you would disgrace, by 
attempting to give him title, except such a man 
as would exalt you by the acceptance? The Irish 
ministry have attempted to strike off honour and 
authority. Such a minister goes before the level- 
ler, like Sin preceding the shadow of Death, shed- 
ding her poisons, and distilling her influence, and 
preparing the nectar she touches for mortality. I 
do not say that such a minister, with his own 
hands, strips the foliage off the tree of nobility ; 
no, he is the early blight that comes to the island 
to wither your honour in the first blast of popu- 
lar breath, and so to scatter it, that at last the 
whole leafage of nobility may descend. He does 
not purpose to blow up the Houses of Parliament, 
he only endeavours to corrupt the institutions, 
and he only undermines the moral props of opinion 

VOL. II. m 


and authority ; he only endeavours to taint the 
nobility ; he sells the Lords \ and he buys the Com- 
mons. The tree of nobility, that it may flourish 
for ever, and stand the blight of ministers, and 
the blast of popular fury, — that it may remain 
on its own hill, rejoicing and laughing to scorn 
that enemy which, in the person of the minister of 
the crown, has gone against the nobles of the land, 
—this is my earnest prayer — that those nobles 
may survive — survive to give counsel to these very 
ministers, and perhaps to pronounce judgment 
upon them. But if ever the axe should go into 
the forest, — if, on the tract of the merchantman in 
the shape of the minister, the political woodman 
in the shape of the leveller should follow, — if the 
sale of peerages, as exercised by the present minister, 
becoming the ordinary resource of Government, 
should 'provoke a kindred spirit, and give birth to 
a race of men as unprincipled and desperate in 
one extreme as they are in the other ; we shall 
then feel it our duty to resist such an effort ; and 
as we now resist the minister's attempts to dis- 
honour, so shall we then resist the consequence of 
his crimes — projects to extinguish the nobility." * 
The foreboding of Mr. Grattan was literally, 
singularly, and fatally fulfilled ; and prior to the 
period of the Union, these characters appeared. 
The minister came in the golden guise of the 

* Speeches, vol. ii. p. 286. 



inercJiant-dedler, and the leveller came in the 
green garb of the woodman ; and between both, 
the tree of the nobility and the constitution was 
felled to the ground. He spoke in 1790 with the 
spirit of prophecy; and in 1800, his words were 
unfortunately realised. 

The following are the letters before referred to. 
Those who profited by them will easily recognise 
the names, though they may now blush to admit 
the services : — 


Dublin Castle, Sept. 8, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Nothing could be more against my inclinations than the 
yielding to solicitations of gentlemen upon the line of 
peerage ; but without engagements strongly to recommend 
several to that mark of his Majesty's favour at the close of 
the session, it would have been impossible for me in any 
sort to have surmounted the various difficulties which have 
lately attended Government. 

I must, therefore, request, that your Lordship will sub- 
mit the following names to his Majesty : — 

Sir Robert Deane has uniformly, with four friends, sup- 
ported his Majesty's measures, and has never suggested a 
difficulty upon any occasion ; his property is very con- 

Lord Chief Baron Dennis is recommended by Lord 
Shannon ; but exclusive of that consideration, his abilities 
may be of great use in the House of Lords, especially as 
Lord Annaly has an asthmatic complaint, which renders 
his attendance precarious. He has no family, nor is there 

M 2 


any probability of his having any, and, upon the whole, I 
should think his appointment full as desirable to Govern- 
ment as it may be agreeable to himself. 

My private wish would certainly influence in favour of 
Mr. Armar Lowry Corry ; but his extensive property, his 
having supported Government, though elected for the 
county of Tyrone by popular interest, his having also in- 
duced another gentleman to follow his example, may give 
him some claim to his Majesty's favour. 

Mr. Mathew is of a very ancient respectable family, and 
has upon every occasion supported his Majesty's Govern- 
ment. His brother-in-law, through his means was induced 
to act the same part. 

Mr. Pomeroy was originally recommended by the Duke 
of Leinster ; but at a time his Grace was undecided, he 
engaged, at all events, with his brother and his son, to 
support Government. The Duke of Leinster lately re- 
newed the application in his favour. 

Mr. Clements, the son of an old meritorious servant of 
the Crown, has a very considerable fortune, and has, with 
three friends, supported Government, exclusive of his brother, 
the Deputy Vice-Treasurer. 

Mr. Knox, of Dungannon, is a gentleman of respectable 
family, with a very large property, and has, with two sons, 
supported Government. He was strongly recommended 
also by Colonel Burton. 

There are some few promotions of peerage, which I would 
make the subject of another letter, but must remind your 
Lordship of Lord Farnham's earnest request, that his 
Majesty would consent to his being honoured with his late 
brother's earldom. 

I hope that these several recommendations will meet with 
his Majesty's approbation, and receive your Lordship's 
support ; and I am to request that your Lordship will be 



pleased to signify to me his Majesty's pleasure concerning 
them, in order that 1 may transmit officially the necessary 
application accordingly. 

I have the honour, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Sept. 8, 1780. 

My Lord, 

1 could not transmit the recommendations for peerages for 
several gentlemen of this kingdom, contained in a letter to 
Lord North, of which 1 enclose your Lordship a copy, with- 
out communicating them to you, and requesting that your 
Lordship will give them a favourable support, as being 
conducive to his Majesty's service. 

I have the honour to be, dec. 



Dublin Castle, Sept. 22, 1780. 

My Loud, 

Among the gentlemen whom, in my letter to your Lordship 
of the 8th instant, I submitted .to His Majesty for the 
dignity of peerage in this kingdom, I should have included 
William Tonson, Esq. for that honour, but that some 
matters which had been misconceived required first to be 
explained. That has since been done entirely to my satis- 
faction, and I request your Lordship will lay before His 
Majesty my humble recommendation, that Mr. Tonson may 
obtain this mark of his royal favour. 

Mr. Tonson is a gentlemen of very considerable estate in 
this country, is zealously attached to His Majesty's person 
and Government, and has uniformly and steadily supported 


Administration. He will bring a friend of Government 
into the House of Commons upon his being called up to 
the House of Peers. He engages to bring into Parliament, 
at the next general election, any person nominated by 
Government, and he has signified to me his determination 
in future to give Administration the nomination of members 
for his Borough of Raihcormack, until his sons shall be of 
an age to sit in Parliament. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Oct. 18, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Lord Naas, who is the eldest commissioner at the revenue 
board in this kingdom, is so enfeebled by age and ill 
health, that it cannot be expected he should exercise his 
office with that diligence and ability with which his services 
have hitherto been distinguished. He has been in that 
employment nearly thirty years, and has constantly ap- 
proved himself, in both Houses of Parliament, the zealous 
servant of the Crown, and the attached friend of Govern- 
ment. These are just titles for consideration, and give 
him a claim to retire from business without any diminution 
of the income he enjoys, and with some distinguishing 
mark of the royal favour. 

I therefore desire your Lordship to lay my humble 
recommendation before the King, that His Majesty will be 
graciously pleased to approve that Lord Naas be permitted 
to retire, upon a pension of one thousand and thirty-three 
pounds per annum, to commence from the time of his being 
succeeded in the office of a commissioner of the revenue, 


and that His Majesty may advance him to the dignity of a 
Viscount of this kingdom. 

And if His Majesty shall be pleased to consent thereto, 
I am further to desire your Lordship will lay before His 
Majesty my humble request, that His Majesty will be 
pleased to approve that Edward Tighe, Esq. be appointed 
one of the commissioners of the revenue here, in the room 
of Lord Naas. Mr. Tighe is a gentleman of family and 
extensive connexions, Member of Parliament for the 
Borough of Athboy, and loyally attached to His Majesty's 
person and Government. Of his abilities I will myself be 
an assurance, having had intimate knowledge of them 
in the services which he has rendered me as my private 
secretary, during the greater part of my residence in this 

Mr. Tighe is at present one of the Commissioners of 
Imprest Accounts, and Comptroller of the Pipe, in His 
Majesty's Court of Exchequer in this kingdom, which 
offices will enable me to gratify other gentlemen, whose 
parliamentary services demand the attention of Govern- 

I have, &c. 


P. S. — 1 beg leave to mention to your Lordship that I 
shall in some short time take the liberty of recommending 
other promotions in the peerage, and that I do not intend 
that this letter should establish Lord Naas' station in the 
rank of Viscount. 




Dublin Castle, Oct. 24, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The following noblemen having distinguished themselves 
as the zealous friends of His Majesty's Government, I 
think it my duty to prefer their applications, that His 
Majesty will be graciously pleased to confer upon them an 
advancement of their rank in the peerage of this kingdom, 
and I do earnestly request accordingly, that His Majesty 
will permit me to recommend the Viscounts Mountcashel, 
Enniskillen, and Carlow, and Lord Farnham, to be created 
earls; and the Barons Desart, Lisle, LifFord, Erne, Bangor, 
Clifden, Naas, Doneraile, and Templetown, to be created 

Lord Mountcashel is particularly recommended by Lord 
Ely, and has constantly supported Government, as have 
Lord Enniskillen and Lord Carlow. Lord Farnham's pre- 
tensions have already been stated to your Lordship. Lord 
Desart is an active supporter of Government in the House 
of Lords. Lord Lisle is strongly recommended by Lord 
Shannon ; Lord LifFord's merits need not be repeated ; 
Lord Erne engages to bring a member of Parliament, to be 
recommended by Government, on the next general election, 
and will be responsible for the conduct of his brother, who 
will then come into Parliament under his influence; Lord 
Bangor s two sons came into the support of Administration 
on condition of this recommendation. Lord Clifden has 
long and faithfully served the Crown. Lord Naas has 
already been recommended to your Lordship ; Lord Don- 
eraile's two sons have given their support in the House 
of Commons, and Lord Templetown is zealously attached, 
as are all those other noblemen to His Majesty's person, 
and Government. 


And I also request His Majesty's permission to re- 
commend that the Earl of Inchinquin, Lieutenant-general 
Robert Cunninghame, John O'Neil, Luke Gardiner, and 
Richard Townshend, Esqrs. be appointed of His Majesty's 
Privy Council in this kingdom. 

I desire your Lordship will lay these my humble recom- 
mendations before the King, as being for His Majesty's 
service, and that your Lordship will be pleased to signify 
to me his royal pleasure thereupon. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Xov. 19, 1780. 

My Lord, 

You will accept of my thanks for inducing Lord Carlisle to 
defer his journey till the 10th. I take it for granted that 
I shall soon be favoured with His Majesty's pleasure 
respecting the bishoprics ; the livings to be vacated in 
consequence of which, are very particularly called for. I 
must entreat your Lordship to lay my humble thanks 
before His Majesty, expressive of the most unshaken loyally 
and zealous attachment for his gracious condescension in ac- 
cepting so many of my recommendations to the peerage, and 
advancement in rank, and as soon as 1 can obtain the new 
titles of each person, I will immediately transmit them, 
officially, to your Lordship. 

With respect to the noblemen and gentlemen whose 
requests have not succeeded, I must say that no man can 
see the inconvenience of increasing the number of peers 
more forcibly than myself, but the recommendations of many 
of those persons submitted to His Majesty for that honour, arose 




LISH Govern m ent were very particularly anxious. 
My sentiments cannot but be the same with respect to the 
Privy Council and pensions, and / had not contracted any 
absolute engagements of recommendation either to peerage or 
pension, till difficulties arose which necessarily oc- 
casioned so much and so forcibly communicated anxiety 
in His Majesty's Cabinet, that I must have been culpable 


majority in the house of commons. Mr. Townshend 
was particularly recommended to me by Lord Shannon 
for a seat in the Privy Council, and I have reason to 
think his Lordship is extremely anxious for his success. 

My disappointment in the arrangement of the revenue 
board is the less, as it is agreeable to your wishes. I 
suppose Colonel Ross is to vacate his present office, which 
will enable me to make a provision for Colonel Sandford, 
who, if my arrangements should be rejected, will otherwise 
be again disappointed. I understand that Mr. Hamilton 
is not in any immediate danger. With respect to Mr. 
Lees, I can have no objection to him, but as he was always 
considered as a person provided for, other gentlemen would 
have claims upon me in preference to him. Should the 
vacancy however happen during my time, it shall be left 
open for him, and with a firm persuasion, that an early 
opportunity will be taken of providing for the gentlemen 
whom otherwise it would be natural for me to have thought 
of. The only offices of any importance I have had to 
dispose of since the opening of this critical session, are a 
commissioner of the revenue board, and a commissioner of 
accounts. The favour to Colonel Stopford arose from his 
disappointment in an office struck off the establishment, 
till which time he stood in the same predicament as, from 
a similar circumstance, Colonel Sandford now remains. 


Your Lordship seems so far sensible of my situation, 
that you will not expect either a long or a well digested 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Nov. 19, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have transmitted by the messenger an official letter to 
the Lords of His Majesty's Treasury, recommending 
several pensions upon the civil establishment of this 

As that despatch merely specifies the sums for which the 
respective persons are recommended, I think it my duty to 
state fully to your Lordship their services and pretensions, 
in order to satisfy your Lordship that in submitting these 
my humble requests to His Majesty, it is my principal 
object to promote his general public service, by representing 
those who have supported His Majesty's measures, or 
grown old in discharge of their duty, as fit objects for the 
royal consideration and bounty. 

In speaking of the several persons, I shall beg leave to 
follow the order in which they stand in my official dispatch. 

James Carigue Ponsonby, Esq. — This gentleman bought 
his Beat in Parliament, and in the contest for the Speaker's 
Chair offered his vote to Lord Harcourt, in favour of Mr. 
Pery, on condition he should represent his conduct to His 
Majesty, hoping it might be kept in account when he 
should on some future day be thought deserving of His 
Majesty's favour. This request was complied with by 
Lord Harcourt, as will appear by his Lordship's letter to 
Lord Weymouth, of the 11th September, 1776; and as this 
gentleman's conduct in support of Government has been 




very uniform and honourable during my Administration, 
and I have not been able to provide for him in the line of 
office agreeably to the expectations which had been given 
him, I am induced to hope His Majesty will consider him 
as a worthy object of his royal bounty. 

Charles Henry Coote, Esq. son to Deane Coote. — This 
gentleman is member for the Queen's County, and has 
generally, during the present Parliament, supported His 
Majesty's measures, but in the last session, when it became 
difficult for members of counties to give an uniform support, 
I promised Mr. Coote to recommend him to His Majesty 
for this favour, in the manner specified in my official letter, 
if there should not be an opportunity for my gratifying 
him with some civil employment, upon the terms of his 
giving a consistent support to Government, which he has very 
honourably performed. 

Francis Bernard Beamish, Esq. was brought into Par- 
liament, for the Borough of Rathcormack, by Mr. Tonson, 
in conjunction with whom he has uniformly supported His 
Majesty's measures. In the session, 1777, Mr. Tonson 
having resigned the office of Lieutenant-Governor of Cork, 
I gave Mr. Beamish assurance of a civil employment ; and 
not having found it in my power to provide for him in that 
mode, I promised to recommend him to His Majesty for 
this mark of the royal favour. 

Ponsonby Tottenham, Esq. nephew to the Earl of Ely. — 
His father and two brothers are in Parliament, and, with 
him, have been constant supporters of His Majesty's 

James Sommerville, Esq. member of Parliament for the 
Borough of New Town, which seat he purchased. Before 
the opening of the last session, Mr. Sommerville offered 
his support, which he has most uniformly given, upon the 
assurance of some provision. He was formerly in business 




as a merchant, but unsuccessful; and being in distressed 
circumstances, and no opportunities offering of providing 
him with office, 1 am induced to recommend him for His 
Majesty's bounty. 

William Caulfield, Esq., member for the Borough of 
Tulsk, who has the collection of Donaghadee, and keeping 
house at the Capeland Isle, worth about 300/. per annum, 
which he will resign to accommodate Government. He 
was formerly an officer in the army, in which service, 
and in the revenue, he has been upwards of forty years. 
Mr. Caulfield has been a constant and uniform supporter 
of government, and is most zealously attached to His 
Majesty's service. 

Thomas Nesbitt, Esq., member for the Borough of 
Cavan. This gentleman was early recommended to me for 
some mark of favour by the late Attorney-General, and he 
has been a constant supporter of government ; and as I 
have not been able to provide for him in office, and he has 
represented to me that the expense of living in Dublin 
during the session is distressing to him, I have recom- 
mended him to His Majesty for this small pension, his 
father having already a pension of 600/. a-year. 

James Sheil, Esq., one of the Commissioners of Appeals, 
is an old servant of the crown, and when in Parliament, 
constantly supported government. His distresses at 
present prevent him from executing his office, which I 
have given to Mr. Tydd, member for Maryborough, who 
supported government during the present session, upon a 
promise of being promoted on the first vacancy of this 
Board. Mr. Sheil has been recommended tome in his un- 
fortunate situation, as a proper object of His Majesty's 

Robert Sibthoipe, Esq., one of His Majesty's counsel in 
this kingdom, and President at the General Quarter 



Sessions of the County of Dublin, with a salary of 200/. a 
year. As the present distressed state of this gentleman's 
circumstances does not allow of his executing this office in 
person, and the service of the county requires it to be per- 
formed by a gentleman of practice and ability in the law, I 
am induced to recommend Mr. Sibthorpe for His Majesty's 
bounty, and intend appointing as his successor, with an 
additional salary of 300/. a-year, Mr. Toler, the member for 
Tralee, who supported His Majesty's measures during the 
last session with great zeal and firmness, and will, I have 
no doubt, from his abilities and knowledge, give very great 
satisfaction to the County of Dublin. An official appli- 
cation for the additional salary accompanies this letter. 

Sir Boyle Roche, member of Parliament for the Borough 
of Gowran, which seat he purchased, with a view to sup- 
port government, to which he is most zealously attached. 

Edward Bulkely, Esq., was formerly joined with his 
uncle the late Michael Clarke, Esq., in the office of agent 
for the half-pay officers, worth about 600/. per annum, 
which office, upon Mr. Clarke's demise, he enjoyed for 
some time solely, but in Lord Harcourt's administration, it 
was given to Sir William Montgomery for the accommo- 
dation of government, and a pension granted Mr. Bulkely, 
of two hundred and fifty pounds a-year, which not being 
equal to the income of his office, the present sum is recom- 
mended to make up the deficiency. 

The Honourable John Evans is brother to Lord Carberry, 
and was formerly collector of Loughrea, but his extreme ill 
state of health disabling him from executing his office, he 
resigned it in hopes of receiving some provision from 

Mrs. Elizabeth Jebb, wife of Dr. Frederick Jebb, # a phy- 
* This is the person about whom the anecdote was related by Mr. 




sician of this town, and author of the letters which ap- 
peared in the beginning of the last session under the 
signature of Guatimozin, and other political productions. 
As the press was exceedingly violent at that time, and had 
great effect in inflaming the minds of the people, it was re- 
commended to me as a measure of absolute necessity, by 
some means, if possible, to check its spirit. On this, a ne- 
gotiation was opened with Dr. Jebb, who was then the 
chief of the political writers, and he agreed upon the terms 
of my recommending him for a pension of 300/. a-year to 
give his assistance to government ; since that time he has 
been very useful, as well by suppressing inflammatory 
publications, as by writing and other services which he 
promises to continue to the extent of his power. 

Dame Jane Heron. — I some time since appointed Sir 
Richard Heron, my chief secretary, to the office of searcher, 
packer, and guager at Cork, the value of which, upon an 
average of the last seven years, is about 700/., although 
the years since the war have been higher than that average, 
and in order to make it equal to what his Majesty has been 
graciously pleased to consider as a proper recompense to 
the chief secretary of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, for 
his discharge of that very laborious and arduous station, 
I have, at Sir Richard Heron's desire, requested that His 
Majesty would be graciously pleased to grant this pension 
to Lady Heron. I have, by the same messenger, trans- 
mitted to their Lordships a recommendation that the pen- 
sions upon the civil establishment, of Guy Moore Coote, be 
transferred to his wife Mrs. Mary Coote. This gentleman 
has always voted with government, and as this was the 
only request he made, I was induced to comply with it. 

Grattan. He first wrote for the people. The effect of Castle influence 
will in this case clearly be seen. 



Their Lordships will receive a third letter, recommending 
Joseph Sirr, Esq. for a military pension. Mr. Sirr served 
many years in the army, and some time ago, in the office 
of sheriff of this county, was of singular service to govern- 
ment. He has long executed the office of Deputy Judge 
Advocate, the emoluments of which amounted to the sum 
of 150/. per annum, but having lately lost his sight, is in- 
capable of any longer discharging that duty. His great age, 
added to his long and faithful services, render him a very 
worthy object of the royal favour. 

The messenger carries with him another letter recom- 
mending pensions to Henry Meredyth, Esq., in trust for 
his nieces Letitia Meredyth, and Judith Woodward, and a 
further separate application for pensions for Robert and 
George Gamble, and Mr. Edward Sterling. The reasons 
which have induced me to make these requests are fully 
set forth in the letters severally recommending them. 

I have also made my humble request to His Majesty 
through their Lordships, that the salary of 150/. a-year, 
placed on the civil establishment, for the Honourable John 
Butler, as clerk of the pipe, may be continued to him and 
his son Humphrey Butler, during His Majesty's pleasure, on 
their being joined in that office. Mr. Butler is great uncle 
to the present Lord Lanesborough, has been a very old 
servant to government, and is most zealously attached to 
His Majesty's person and government. 

I cannot sufficiently express to your Lordship, with how 
much reluctance I state these several requests, but I am 
driven to this necessity, not having any other means of gra- 
tifying the expectations of gentlemen who engaged in the ser- 
vice of government through this long and arduous session. The 
civil patronage never was so slender as during my adminis- 
tration, and the only two capital offices which fell since my 
coming to this kingdom (the secretaryship of state, and 




that of deputy vice-treasurer) were both engaged by my 
predecessors. I do not mention the late Sir Henry Caven- 
dish's office, as, though he died after my nomination, Lord 
Harcourt was still in the possession of the government. 

I cannot therefore forbear expressing my humble hopes 
that His Majesty will be graciously pleased to grant these 
several requests, and flatter myself, that when your Lord- 
ship shall lay them before the king, they will be honoured 
by your support. 

If my recommendation respecting Lord Shannon and 
Mr. Foster is accepted of, it will enable me to make an 
advancement for a gentleman whom Lord Shannon par- 
ticularly protects, and in succession for Mr. Howard, 
brother to Lord Clonmore, who, with another brother of his 
Lordship's, have uniformly supported government upon 
every occasion. The office also of the provost's son, whom 
I did not choose to remove, though his office is within my 
department, till I knew your Lordship's sentiments with 
respect to his father, — would enable me to fulfil another en- 
gagement, and in succession to take off some of the pensions, 
a species of provision which of all others gives the greatest 
dissatisfaction here. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


vol. n. 



Impoverished and depressed state of Ireland. — Changes in the European 
world. — Character of the Irish volunteers — the salvation of Ireland. 
— New administration. — Retirement of Sir Robert Heron. — Suc- 
ceeded by Mr. Eden. — Lord Carlisle. — Plans and conduct of the 
new Irish Government. — Corruption and bribery. — Sir Samuel Brad- 
street the Recorder. — Partial success of Eden in reducing the oppo- 
sition. — Mr. Flood's resignation and dismissal from the Council 
Board. — Demonstration of the volunteers. — Lord Charlemont ap- 
pointed their General. — Approaching dangers of the Empire. — Dread 
of invasion. — The volunteers. — Meeting of the House. — Irish Navy. 
— Mr. Yelverton. — Mr. Grattan's motion for repeal of Mutiny Bill. — 
Lost by a large majority. — His pamphlet on the subject. — Answer to 
it by Dr. Jebb. — Profligate use of the public money. — 1781. — Mr. 
Flood's motion on the Mutiny Bill. — The Attorney-General's humour- 
ous allusion to Mr. Flood, and his reply. — Poyning's law. — Anecdote 
of Mr. Yelverton. — The Roman Catholic Bill. — Mr. Grattan's reasons 
for supporting it. — Father O'Leary. — Mr. Flood's opposition to the 
Catholic claims. — Question of trade with Portugal. — The Habeas 
Corpus Bill. 

The extraordinary letters cited in the preced- 
ing chapter; the unconstitutional measures sug- 
gested ; the rewards for political services recom- 
mended and adopted ; and the opposition of 
Government to every measure of redress and 
retrenchment, show the fatuity and folly, as well 
as the corruption and violence, of the British 
ministry, by whose impolicy the country was 



reduced to the extremity of distress and discon- 
tent. In fact, it may be said, that the island had 
become so impoverished by the corruption, pro- 
fusion, and profligacy of her Viceroys, that she 
was unable even to bear the pensioned gentry. 
Her revenues had gone back, her debts were in- 
creasing, her taxes were unable to support the 
prodigality, and the people unable to bear the 
taxes. The country having been called upon to 
assist in the American war, which, by her dis- 
approbation, she might have determined, and 
having in consequence lost the linen-trade and 
the provision-trade, her chief source of subsistence 
was wholly cut off. The army was called on to 
continue the madness of the minister, and, in 
consequence, the nation had no defence left her 
against foreign invasion; so that the British policy 
took defence from one part of the King's do- 
minions, in order to take liberty from the other. 

By these frantic proceedings, by the lofty pride 
of the British cabinet, and the impotency of the 
Irish Government, these two great limbs of the 
empire, — Ireland and the American colonies, — 
were endangered. In short, the ministers would 
have completed the subversion of the liberties of 
Ireland, had they not been destined to extinguish 
the empire of Great Britain ; and Ireland owed 
her very being to their defeats and disgraces by 
sea and land. The success of their arms, and the 
rapid march of their armies, were always marked 

n 2 


the volunteers; 

[chap. IX. 

by signal depredations on the rights and privileges 
of Ireland. She counted her grievances with the 
number of their victories ; and every blow they 
gave to the enemy, was a deadly wound to the 
rights of Ireland. 

At length, however, a rapid train of events had 
changed the condition of the world, and of Ireland 
along with it : she not only rose in a positive, but 
a comparative sense ; not only from the inability 
of England to defend her, but from her ability to 
defend herself. By an immense army, and the 
form of a much greater one, composed of dif- 
ferent religions, but one political faith, kept up 
for three years, enforcing the law, protecting the 
Government, increasing in numbers, improving in 
discipline, formed of materials where every soldier 
had a common interest, but a separate honour ; — 
where the soldier was a chartered citizen, and 
that citizen pledged to God and his country, to 
support his charter to the last drop of his blood.* 
" Wonderful formation, — the noblest of national 
institutions, — that cheap defence of nations, — the 
nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, 
— that sensibility of principle, that chastity of 
honour, which felt a stain like a wound ; inspiring 
courage while it mitigated ferocity, and ennobling 
whatsoever it touched." Justly may we apply 

* Lord Sheffield, in his pamphlet in 1785, says of them, " A phenome- 
non now appeared, the like of which had never yet been seen in any 


the celebrated words of Edmund Burke to the 
volunteers of Ireland ; — the lilies of the beau- 
teous queen of France, bedewed with the tears 
of the most eloquent of Irishmen, form a fitting 
wreath to hang o'er the grave of that gallant and 
patriotic body. 

Fortunati ambo, si quid mea carmina possunt 
Nulla dies unquam memori vos eximet aevo. 

Had these men been furious in their resolu- 
tions, or licentious in their habits, their dissolu- 
tion had been speedy, and their operations 
nothing ; but, in their tempered zeal, their steady 
moderation, their sobriety, their alacrity to assist 
the civil power, their readiness to march at the 
order of Government, their applicability to all the 
purposes of the country, the lesser office of the 
civil power, and the great outline of defence, 
there was a serious, useful, irresistible principle, 
which secured continuation to their existence, 
and success to all their operations — something 
which reconciled the fears of the timid, and 
silenced the murmurs even of the courtier, — the 
power which wished their dissolution, but ac- 
knowledged their protection. In the summer of 
1780, when they espoused the Declaration of Right, 
they exhorted the friends of their country in ad- 
dresses, filled with Roman fire.* In the summer 

* See Appendix for these, in particular, to Lord Charlemont, and his 


of 1781, they had their provincial reviews on a 
large scale, and with great expense ; they passed 
addresses, expressing a humble hope, that the 
constitution of their country would be completely 
emancipated. At that particular time, they heard 
of an intended invasion, and on the moment, 
offered their lives and services ; they struck their 
tents, shouldered their firelocks, and prepared to 
march. Where a nation is defended by merce- 
nary troops, she finds, in the means of defence, 
the source of oppression ; but when an armed 
community are the life-guard of the State, her 
freedom flows from her existence, and as they 
are the defenders of their country, so they will 
prove the redeemers of her constitution. 

The character of this illustrious body of men is 
finely described by Mr. Grattan : one passage is 
worthy of particular attention : — * 

" Let the youth of the country go to the grave 
of the volunteer ; it is at the tomb of departed 
patriotism, where youth is to be trained to virtue! 
Let them frequent that grave ; — there the garland 
will be green, and the warm heart, and the tears 
of the nation will be there ; and, from a due con- 
templation of the great inhabitant of that tomb, let 
them collect a conscious elevation of soul, and a 
prouder sense of existence 1 .! I" 

In December, 1780, the new administration 

* Mr. Grattan's Miscellaneous Works, vol. v. p. 76. 


commenced ; but the plan which had been pre- 
viously acted on was not changed ; the same 
determined opposition was given to public mea- 

Sir Richard Heron retired from the Secretary- 
ship. He had proved himself a well-intentioned 
and quiet character; and, placed in an arduous 
situation, and at a critical period, he had con- 
ducted himself with propriety, and without 
offence. Mr. Eden succeeded him. Both he 
and Lord Carlisle were men of birth, of taste, 
and of accomplishments ; they were literary, as 
well as political characters. The latter had 
been educated at Eton, with Charles Fox and 
the Duke of Leinster. He inherited a taste for 
poetry from his mother, Isabella Byron, who was 
the authoress of a poem, entitled the u Fairy's 
Answer." He wrote a translation of Dante ; an 
ode on the death of Gray ; and some fugitive 

The Secretary, Mr. Eden, was the author of 
some letters on the subject of Ireland ; — a con- 
troversial pamphlet, in answer to Dr. Price ; 
— and other works. These individuals had been 
sent over as Commissioners to America, in 1778, 
to try and restore peace to the Colonies; and 
having failed there, they were sent to Ireland, 
where they were equally unfortunate. Neither 
of them was fit for the situation. Mr. Eden's 
line was quietude ; but he mistook it. He was 




certainly a good negociator, and a most able 
man to converse with in private ; but he was a 
bad public speaker. He possessed great dex- 
terity, and an address that was surprising; but 
his plan was bad : he sought to enlist a troop 
of young men in his service, who were to carry 
on his administration with a show of spirit, and 
by dint of money. He resorted to every art to 
soften and seduce the patriots of the day, and 
he nearly won round some of their leaders.* 
In short, by putting the question directly to 
some, and using skilful management with others, 
Mr. Eden reduced the opposition to about 39. 
But that was his bourne ; he could go no farther ; 
he had not sagacity enough to see that there 
are times when corruption may succeed, but 
there are other periods when it will do great 
mischief, and be attended by signal discomfiture ; 
— to the minister, disgraceful; — to the nation, 

The people seeing this, took courage. They 
came to the galleries of the House of Commons, 
which then were capable of containing upwards 

* Mr. Eden's great stumbling-block was said to have been Sir Samuel 
Bradstreet, the Recorder, who never could be prevailed upon to speak 
openly for the Government party, although he was persuaded not to 
oppose them. So that Sir Samuel's merit consisted merely in running 
away : which was not a very easy thing for him to do, as he was perhaps 
the largest man in the three kingdoms. The Government called him 
" slippery Sam," and complained that he always contrived to get through 
their fingers. 




of 700 individuals ; they listened to the great 
questions which were then brought forward ; they 
saw how few men of spirit supported them, and 
were determined not to let their questions be sold ; 
and it is probable, they would have compelled 
Mr. Eden's administration to yield, if it had not 
before-hand broken down. 

Mr. Flood resigned his situation as Vice- 
Treasurer ; and the first step by the Govern- 
ment was, to dismiss him from his seat at the 
Council-Board. He complained, and justly, of 
this to the House, and inveighed strongly against 
the treatment which, as a public man, he had 
received; he stated, that he "was dismissed 
from his office for his Parliamentary conduct, — 
not by his sovereign, but by men who had dis- 
graced his councils." 

This violent proceeding was held out, in ter- 
rorem, to the leaders of the people, and plainly 
indicated how little the country had to expect. 
The volunteers, however, were not dismayed, nor 
did they relax in their efforts. They complained 
of the conduct of some of their representatives 
in their resolutions ; they urged on others, and 
pressed them in their addresses to support the 
popular questions in Parliament. 

In the months of June, July, and August, they 
held provincial reviews with great splendour ; their 
regiments appeared fully accoutred with knap- 
sacks, tents, and camp equipage ; and such was 



the spirit of the time, that one of the Dublin corps 
of artillery marched to Belfast, to assist at the 
review which was held there, and which lasted for 
three successive days. It was computed that 
upwards of 60,000 spectators were assembled on 
the occasion. Thus was the prophecy of the late 
Viceroy refuted, who told the English Ministry 
that the volunteers would soon dissolve, and that 
their avocations or their apathy would prevail over 
their love of their country ; but these were the 
words of a courtier, who knew not the feeling of 

The volunteers appointed Lord Charlemont a 
second time their general and leader, and the 
following was their address, and his answer ; — 
a document worthy to be preserved in the re- 
cords of Irish history, on account of the spirit it 
breathes, and the principles it recommends. 

July 21, 1781. 

At a Meeting of the Officers and Deputies of the Volunteer 
Corps reviewed at Belfast, on the 18th, 19th, and 20th 
days of July instant, Colonel Dawson in the Chair : — 
The following Resolution was unanimously agreed to: 
— That the Chairman do present to the Reviewing Ge- 
neral, the Right Hon. the Earl of Charlemont, the fol- 
lowing Address : — 

My Lord, 

It is with the most heartfelt pleasure that we embrace 
this, our second opportunity, of addressing your Lordship, 
in that language of esteem, respect, and veneration, which 




we think due to your Lordship's exalted character, and 
which we feel heightened by the happy conclusion of that 
glorious display of arras and freedom, which the late review 
has afforded to so many thousands of admiring citizens. 

We feel with gratitude the readiness and politeness with 
which your Lordship complied with our wishes to be re- 
viewed by your Lordship ; we also thank your Lordship 
for the trouble you have taken in communicating to us the 
sentiments of the gentlemen of the Lawyers' Corps. 

We entertain not a doubt that, in every situation, the 
Volunteer Corps of this country, and of the whole kingdom, 
will behave and conduct themselves as they have hitherto 
done, in a manner suitable to the character of good citizens 
and true friends to their country. 

Thomas Dawson, Chairman. 

To which his Lordship was pleased to give the following 
Answer : — 

When, in consequence of the honour of your choice, I was 
last year witness to the amazing exertions of my brave 
and virtuous countrymen — when I beheld in the field a 
powerful army y self raised, self-clothed, self -paid, mid dis- 
ciplined by its own efforts — my astonishment was so great, 
and my satisfaction so perfect, that with difficulty I found 
words to express my sentiments upon the interesting occa- 
sion, or to return due thanks for the happiness afforded me, 
and the high honours conferred upon me. What, then, 
gentlemen, must be my present situation ? How can I ex- 
pect to find expressions adequate to explain the feelings of 
my heart, when my obligations are redoubled by this, your 
second election, and when the great efforts of last year are 
obliterated and lost in the miraculous exertions which I 
have now beheld — when your numbers are increased two- 



fold, and your discipline is brought to a degree of perfec- 
tion, which the most experienced veteran must admire ? Silent 
astonishment can alone express my admiration — heart- 
felt gratitude must stand in the place of thanks ! 

Such are my sentiments, when 1 reflect on your goodness 
towards me — such are my feelings upon the bare contem- 
plation of your strength and military skill. But how are 
these sentiments exalted, when I consider the glorious pur- 
pose which has called you together, and for the attainment 
of which you have cheerfully submitted to every inconve- 
nience incident to the self-raised soldier; when I reflect on 
the effects which your associations have already produced, 
and upon those which must follow from that perseverance 
of which there can now be no shadow of doubt ; when, in 
the midst of war, and that, too, accompanied by circum- 
stances of the most alarming nature, I behold my country 
fearless of invasion, formidable to her enemies, respected 
by her sister kingdom, and an object of veneration to all 
Europe ; when, in this unhappy period of general confu- 
sion, I behold, under the influence of your arms, internal 
tranquillity restored, the due execution of the laws firmly 
established, commerce released from those unworthy chains 
by which she had been so long and so unjustly bound, and 
constitutional freedom emerging from that dark abyss into 
which she has been plunged by lawless and absurd oppres- 
sion on the one hand, and by folly and corruption on the 

Go on, then, my virtuous countrymen ; persevere in the 
line which you have hitherto pursued ; continue to join 
every virtue of peace to all the abilities of war ; let your 
prudence be animated by patriotic zeal, and your spirit, as 
heretofore, be regulated by cautious wisdom, and by a 
thorough sense of all your duties as citizens ; — go on ; per- 
severe ; oppression is impossible, and Ireland must be happy ! 



Such, gentlemen, are the sentiments of my heart, which 
I have now laid before you, as an offering far more accept- 
able to you, than a vain effort to express my gratitude by 
a useless profusion of thanks : I say useless, because I am 
confident that, knowing the benefits you have bestowed on 
our country, and the honours you have heaped on me, and 
thinking of my heart, as I hope and trust you do, you can- 
not for a moment doubt how ardently and sincerely I have 
the honour to be, 

Your most obliged, faithful, 
And humble obedient servant, 


At length, the public calamities that visited the 
empire, began to be felt ; and they operated in 
favour of Ireland. Affairs in America wore a 
gloomy aspect, and ended in the capture of Lord 
Cornwallis and the British army, towards the 
close of the year. The Channel trade was threat- 
ened by the enemy, and in June, Government 
thought it necessary to appoint convoys for vessels 
trading between England and Ireland. In Sep- 
tember thirty-four sail of the combined fleet ap- 
peared in the Channel, and some of them ap- 
proached the south coast of Ireland, where, at that 
period, there were but five weak regiments of 
cavalry, and seven of infantry. Accordingly, the 
volunteers made a tender of their services to Go- 
vernment, offering to march on the shortest notice. 
The Lord Lieutenant received the offer with 



courtesy, but with coldness, avoiding, as far as 
possible, all recognition, or even mention of 
them, in their military capacity.* 

The House met on the 9th of October, when 
the usual address was delivered, but no mention 
was made of the volunteer army by name ; no 
Lord Lieutenant or Secretary ever introduced this 
word in any public document; such was their 
real dread of an armed people, or their pretended 
respect for the constitution. 

The Recorder having complained of the deserted 
state in which the country was left, was asked by 
Mr. Fitzgibbon, in an angry manner, whether he 
meant to pledge the House to maintain an Irish 
navy. Mr. Yelverton retorted on this remark, 
with merited severity, and, with a feeling of 
natural pride, asking, " And why not an Irish 
navy, — under the command of the executive of 
Ireland ? We pay the King the hereditary revenue 
for our protection, while we are left abandoned ; 
we pay it expressly for the purpose of protecting 
our trade, while the money is applied to the Pen- 
sion List, to reward those who vote against the 
interests of the nation." 

The next day thanks were voted to the volun- 
teer corps " for the continuation of their efforts in 
defence of the country, and for their spirited offer 

* Their address, and the names of some of the corps who offered their 
assistance, will be found in the Appendix. 


to Government on the late alarm of a hostile in- 

On the 13th of November, 1781, Mr. Grattan 
renewed his efforts for a repeal of the Mutiny 
Bill, and moved for leave to bring in Heads of 
a Bill to amend, explain, and limit an Act, 
entitled, "An Act for the better accommoda- 
tion and regulation of his Majesty's Army in 
this kingdom :" in this he was seconded by 
Mr. Flood. This circumstance of his early ac- 
quaintance seconding and watching his motion, 
had roused him to great exertion ; but, besides 
this incentive, he had taken great pains with 
the subject, knowing that there were several 
competitors eagerly if not jealously observing 
him, and awaiting the result; and aware that if 
he lost ground, he would sink in public opinion. 
When the debate came on, he was listened 
to with profound attention, and spoke with com- 
plete success. The motion was strongly sup- 
ported by Messrs. Isaac Corry, G. P. Bushe, Daly, 
Burgh, Yelverton, and Fitzgibbon ; it was opposed 
by Mr. Foster, Mr. Langrishe, Mr. Eden, the 
Secretary, Mr. Hutchinson, the Provost, and 
Scott, the Attorney-General. The numbers were, 
177 against and 33 only for Mr. Grattan's motion. 

On this occasion, Mr. Grattan published a 
pamphlet entitled, " Observations on the Mutiny 
Bill."* It went rapidly through several editions, 

* See Vol. V. of Mr. Grattan's Miscellaneous Works. 



and excited so great a sensation, that Government 
employed Dr. Jebb to reply to it. This reply 
may have been a fulfilment of his agreement with 
Government; but it was no answer to or refutation 
of the argument. Several years afterwards he 
met Mr. Grattan in private, and remarked how 
much he was indebted to him, for, that through 
his means he had obtained 300/. a-year — that the 
Government had employed him in 1781 to reply 
to his pamphlet on the Mutiny Bill, and they had 
rewarded him for his labours with this annuity ; 
but he added that it was no answer whatever. 

This mode of recompense appears in the letter 
of Lord Buckingham to the British Minister, when 
he asks for a pension for the wife of this individual 
for his literary services. Thus were the people 
not only deprived of their rights, but taxed in 
order to pay a rent-charge to those who w f rote 
against their liberties; and thus Government 
pensioned a press to write down public virtue ; 
— striving to corrupt the understanding of the 
country, as their Treasury was employed to cor- 
rupt her principles. State annuities were paid 
for composing Arcadian dialogues on trade, and 
sentimental essays on bribery and corruption, 
consisting of rank principles, set forth in flimsy 

On the 29th November, Mr. Flood proposed 
a resolution regarding the Mutiny Bill. " That 
a law of indefinite duration, with the aid of the 


hereditary revenue, was repugnant to the prin- 
ciples of the British constitution." Mr. Flood 
was, however, induced to withdraw this, and 
moved, that leave be given to bring in " Heads of 
a Bill for punishing Mutiny and Desertion; and 
for the better Payment of the Army and their 

The abrupt manner of bringing forward this 
question, which had originally been proposed by 
Mr. Bushe, and seconded by his relation Mr. 
Grattan, occasioned some disagreement between 
the former and Mr. Flood, and gave rise to the 
humorous story of Harry Plantagenet, related by 
the Attorney-General, who thus alluded to Mr. 
Flood's jealousy in taking questions out of the 
hands of other members. The motion was lost by 
J46 to 66. 

The Attorney-General, Mr. Scott, said, " there 
is no similitude between the present times and 
those to which the Right Honourable Gentleman 
has alluded ; nor is there any reason for his fre- 
quent mention of corruption; if a rebellion should 
be raised, no man possesses more ability to sup- 
port it ; if stopped, no man possesses greater 
abilities to allay it; thus powerful as he is, I 
hope he will consider the people, and that his 
wrath may not be like that of Achilles, only to be 
appeased by the blood of his country. I perceive 
we are all growing warm, and if the House will 
permit me, T shall tell you a story which may 

VOL. II. o 




help to bring us into better temper. When I was 
at the Temple, there was a parish-clerk that used 
to raise the psalm, and who went by the name of 
Harry Plantagenet. I had taken it into my head, 
that the family of Plantagenets was quite extinct, 
and was induced, by curiosity, to ask this man 
how he came to be called by that name? Ac- 
cordingly, I went to him one day, and mentioned 
my wish to know his story. ' I was once a king, 
Sir,' said he, ' and reigned with uncontrolled 
dominion over hounds and greyhounds — beagles 
and terriers, by which I have acquired this name ; 
but, if you please, I will relate my story at large.' 
* Go on, Harry,'' said I. ' I lived in the neighbour- 
hood of Windsor Forest when a boy, and used 
frequently to divert myself with hunting the 
King's deer, for I always loved to hunt the King's 
deer.' ' Go on, Harry,' said I. 1 1 hallooed and I 
shouted so loud, and so often, that there was not 
a dog of the pack but obeyed my voice, nor a lad 
in the forest but attended my call.' ' Go on, 
Harry," said I. ' At length, the chief huntsman 
perceiving what command I had over the dogs 
and the sportsmen, resolved to take me into his 
pay.' ' Go on, Harry,' said I. ' I accepted his 
offer, but soon found myself so much at ease, that 
I grew indolent, and insisted upon riding out to 
hunt in furniture; for I always loved to hunt in 
furniture.'' * Go on, Harry,' said /. ' I was in- 
dulged with furniture ; but I soon perceived that 



the younger fellows, who would now outride me, 
became greater favourites with the chief hunts- 
man.' * Go on, Harry,'' said I. * This stung me to 
the quick, and I determined to pick a quarrel 
about some of the fringe of my furniture, which 
was torn, and which I would have repaired at the 
chief huntsman's expense.' 4 Go on, Harry' ' I 
immediately began to hunt in opposition ; but not a 
dog obeyed me, not a sportsman attended to my 
call.' * Go on, Harry.' ' I hallooed, and I roared 
and I shouted, until I was weary, but still with- 
out any effect. I had the mortification to find 
that I had totally lost my influence in the Forest, 
and I retired to this parish, to devote the rest of 
my days to the making of my soul, and I now 
raise the psalm, and join in the thanksgiving.' 
This, Sir, is the story of Harry Plantagenet, and 
his story I would apply to any one who cannot 
be quiet without expense, or angry without re- 

To this humorous sally, Mr. Flood replied — 
" I cannot perceive the smallest similitude be- 
tween this story and my situation, except that my 
name is ' Harry.' I have, indeed, been a hunts- 
man, but then I was never a whipper-in ; but the 
Right Honourable Gentleman has the happy talent 
of turning every thing to his advantage — when he 
became an object of popular resentment, he tra- 
versed the street with a guard — he looked melan- 
choly at the bar — he sighed in the House and in 

o 2 



[chap. IX. 

the Council, and blubbered in the anti-chamber — 
the people were astonished — the women went 
into mourning — Government thought all her func- 
tions were suspended, and nothing could allay the 
general concern, but a plentiful reversion for the 
Right Honourable Gentleman. When the fleets of 
England, at a great expense, made a number of 
little descents on the French coast last war, it 
was wittily said, we were breaking panes of glass 
with guineas, and though his house is filled with 
the most elegant and richest furniture, yet I will 
venture to say, that no part of it cost so much as 
the crown glass with which his windows were 

The same course which was pursued by Mr. 
Flood towards Mr. Bushe on the question of the 
Mutiny Bill, was also adopted on the subject of 
Poyning's law, towards Mr. Yelverton. He was 
to have brought on the question on the 4th of De- 
cember, but in consequence of the defeat and 
capture of Lord Cornwallis's army in America, 
he changed this to an Address to His Majesty, 
expressive of their zeal for the honour of the 
Crown, and the prosperity of the British Em- 
pire ; which Address being carried, Mr. Flood 
declared that he would, in the ensuing week, 
bring forward the question of the Law of Poyn- 
ing's. Accordingly on the 11th he proposed to 
appoint a "Committee to examine precedents 
and records to explain the Law of Poyning's," 




and next to declare, from the report of the com- 
mittee, " what the Law of Poyning's and the 
Constitution of the Country actually were." 

Mr. Yelverton, conceiving that he was ill- 
treated on this occasion, alluded to Mr. Flood's 
conduct, — his silence for several years past, and 
his abandonment of this very question, — and ob- 
served, that " although Mr. Flood might not 
allow him to have any knowledge of the con- 
stitutional law, he would allow him to know 
something of criminal law ; he therefore begged 
to say, that if any man marries a wife, and lives 
with her in constancy, it is a crime to take her 
away from him ; but if a man shall separate 
from his wife, desert her, and abandon her for 
seven years, another may then take her up, and 
give her his protection." 

Mr. Yelverton, notwithstanding this disagree- 
ment, gave his full support to the motion of Mr. 
Flood, but it was rejected by a majority of 139 
to 67. 

The next important subject that was proposed 
was the Roman Catholic Bill, which was intro- 
duced by Mr. Gardiner : it was to restore the 
Catholics to the enjoyment of property, the free 
exercise of their religion, education, marriage, and 

To this question, from its beginning to its 
close, Mr. Grattan gave his most strenuous sup- 
port. He observed, " I give my consent to the 


doctor o'leary; 

[chap. IX. 

Bill, in its principle, extent, and boldness. I give 
my consent to it as the most likely means of ob- 
taining a victory over the prejudices of the Catho- 
lics, and over our own : I give my consent to it 
because I would not keep two millions of my 
fellow-subjects in a state of slavery, and because, 
as the mover of the Declaration of Rights, I would 
be ashamed of giving freedom to but six hundred 
thousand of my countrymen, when I could extend 
it to two millions more." 

It was in the debate on this Bill that Doctor 
O'Leary's* name was introduced. He had been 
of much service by his writings and exhortations 
to concord, at a time when attempts were made 
to sow dissension between Catholic and Pro- 
testant, and destroy the harmony that then sub- 
sisted in Ireland, and which Lord Charlemont 
refers to in his letters to Mr. Flood. f 

* This talented person was an Irishman, not only in name but in sen- 
timent and spirit ; he lived to an advanced age in London with his inti- 
mate friend, Colonel O'Kelly, well known in the sporting world for his 
celebrated horse Eclipse, as the other was in the literary world for his 
writings, and for his reply to the Protestant divine, to whom, on the sub- 
ject of their controversy, that of purgatory, he wittily observed, " he might 
go further and fare worse." Colonel O'Kelly related that at the period 
of the Union Mr. Pitt offered a considerable pension to O'Leary, pro- 
vided he would exert himself among his Roman Catholic countrymen, 
and write in support of the Union, but every application was in vain ; 
O'Leary steadfastly resisted Mr. Pitt's solicitations, and though poor, he 
rejected the offers of the minister, and could not be seduced from his 
allegiance to his country. 

f See volume of Letters of Henry Flood to Lord Charlemont and 
Lord Chandos. — London edition. 



Mr. Grattan said, he " could not hear the name 
of Father O'Leary mentioned, without paying him 
that tribute of acknowledgment so justly due to 
his merit. At the time that this man lay under 
the censure of a law, which in his own country 
made him subject to transportation or death, from 
religious distinctions — at the time that a prince of 
his own religion threatened this country with in- 
vasion — this respectable character took up his pen, 
unsolicited, and without a motive but that of real 
patriotism, to urge his own communion to a dis- 
position of peace, and to support the law which 
had sentenced him to transportation. A man of 
learning, a philosopher, a Franciscan, did the 
most eminent service to his country in the hour of 
its greatest danger. He brought out a publication 
that would do honour to the most celebrated name. 
The whole kingdom must bear witness of its effect, 
by the reception they gave it. Poor in every 
thing but genius and philosophy, he had no pro- 
perty at stake, no family to fear for; but descend- 
ing from the contemplation of wisdom, and aban- 
doning the ornaments of fancy, he humanely un- 
dertook the task of conveying duty and instruction 
to the lowest class of the people. If I did not 
know him to be a Christian clergyman, I should 
suppose him, by his works, to be a philosopher of 
the Augustan age." 

On this subject, it is much to be regretted that 
a man of such ability as Mr. Flood should have 


dr. o'leary's writings, [chap. IX. 

taken a view hostile to the rights of his country- 
men. He deprecated giving the Roman Catholics 
equal power with the Protestants, and asked this 
trite question, — " If you do, can a Protestant con- 
stitution survive?" In this mistaken view he was 
supported unfortunately by Lord Charlemont, as 
appears from his letter to Mr. Flood, in Jan. 1782, 
where he says, " the House is running mad on the 
subject of popery ;" but he adds, that 6i he had not 
yet made up his mind upon Gardiner's Bill," 
fearing, as he says, " the ruin of that growing 
coalescence vMch was beginning to take place among 
men of all persuasions." 

It is certain that attempts were made to sow 
divisions between the two parties ; and as before 
stated, this effort was in a great degree suppressed 
by the aid of Dr. O'Leary's writings. Govern- 
ment, too, had not yet become active adepts in 
the art of sowing religious dissensions ; they were 
sufficiently occupied by their civil discords, and 
the task was left to their successors, who, it may 
be said, have exceeded their most sanguine ex- 

The part which Mr. Grattan was forced to take 
in reference to this subject, when the meeting 
took place at Charlemont House respecting the 
Dungannon resolutions, will appear a few pages 
further on. 

In order to throw out the Bill, an adjournment 
was proposed, but it was rejected by 145 to 56. 




The Bill was not, however, passed, until after the 
dissolution of the Carlisle ministry, and the reco- 
very of the Irish Constitution ; so closely con- 
nected seem to be the spirit of civil and religious 

The subject of the trade with Portugal occasi- 
oned much embarrassment at this period. After 
the free trade had been carried, the Irish exported 
their manufactures to Portugal ; their linens were 
seized on by the authorities at Lisbon, and con- 
fiscated. Applications were made to the British 
Government, and Lord Hillsborough strove to 
negotiate the matter ; but the minister, Chevalier 
Da Pinto, stated in reply, that the Queen of 
Portugal was determined not to allow the Me- 
thuen treaty of 1703 to comprehend the woollen 
trade of Ireland ; and under this pretext they 
seized upon the linens.' 

The question had been often brought before the 
House of Commons, and on the Gth February, Mr. 
Eden made a long statement explanatory of the 
business, but he proposed nothing. It appeared 
that of the exports from Ireland, then amounting to 
three millions, about one-twelfth went to Por- 
tugal ; that the trade in linen and woollen had 
been guaranteed to Ireland by ancient treaties, 
particularly by that of 1642, when it was expressly 
stipulated that there should be free commerce 
between the subjects of both Crowns in all islands 
and countries. Mr. Fitzgibbon then proposed an 



Address to the King, calling on him to assert the 
rights of the country. This address was consi- 
dered as weak, futile, and inefficient. It was 
opposed by Mr. Grattan, but was however adopted 
by the House ; and a spirited amendment of Sir 
Lucius O'Brien was rejected. His Majesty 
shortly after replied, that he would use his efforts 
to bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion. 

The Habeas Corpus Bill was again introduced 
by Sir Samuel Bradstreet, and was returned 
approved of from England. This was the best 
measure of the Carlisle ministry ; indeed, it was 
the only good one. 



The Convention of Dungannon, 1782. — Resolutions passed there — Pre- 
. pared by Mr. Grattan and Mr. Flood. — Mr. Dobbs. — Meeting of 
the Delegates. — Important results of these proceedings. — Weakness 
of the Government. — Mr. Grattan's new motion on the Rights of Ire- 
land. — Its ultimate results. — Dissolution of Lord North's ministry. — 
His character as a politician. — Remark of Lord Chatham on him. — 
Lord Rockingham's administration formed. — Dismissal of Lord 
Carlisle from the Viceroyship. — Conduct of Mr. Eden. — His letter to 
Lord Shelburne. — His strange motion in the house. — Mr. Fox's reply. 
— Message from the King on Ireland. — Singular resolution carried in 
the Irish Parliament by Mr. Grattan. — The new Viceroy, the Duke of 
Portland. — The new ministers beg for delay. — Reply of Mr. Grattan. 
— Lord Charlemont's letter to Mr. Fox. — Tenders of office to Mr. 
Grattan and his Friends. — Their refusal, and the reasons for it. — 
Danger of delay. 

The most important proceeding with which this 
year opened was the celebrated Convention of 
Dungannon, and which at this period had a magic 
influence on the affairs of Ireland, and brought to 
a favourable conclusion those important sub- 
jects which had so often, but in vain, been pro- 
posed by the patriotic party in Ireland. On the 
28th December, in the preceding year, the Ulster 
first regiment, commanded by Lord Charlemont, 



[chap. X. 

had adopted resolutions, animadverting on the 
corruption of the members of Parliament, and in- 
viting the associations of Ulster to send delegates 
to a town in that province, to deliberate on the 
state of public affairs. Mr. Dawson was the origi- 
nator of this fearless summons. They were ap- 
pointed to meet in Dungannon on the 15th of 

An assembly thus summoned, without authority, 
to meet in arms, to debate and to resolve, appear- 
ed fraught with great danger, and if not well 
directed, might produce much mischief. Accord- 
ingly Lord Charlemont, Mr. Grattan, and Mr. 
Flood, met at Lord Charlemont's house, and there 
it was agreed that they should prepare the chief 
resolutions, to be recommended for adoption by 
the Convention. The first resolution was drawn 
up by Mr. Grattan ; it was, " That a claim of any 
body of men, other than the King, Lords, and 
Commons of Ireland, to make laws to bind this 
kingdom, is unconstitutional, illegal, and a griev- 
ance." The second was drawn up by Mr. Flood. 
It was, " That the powers exercised by the Privy 
Council of both kingdoms, under, or under colour 
or pretence of, the Law of Poyning, are uncon- 
stitutional, and a grievance." Flood objected to 
the word " illegal " being introduced into the first; 
it could not be introduced into the second, because 
it was not possible to declare that that which was 
law was illegal. He observed, that it was a very 

chap, x.] 



strong resolution without those words. The reso- 
lution, however, was carried as originally proposed, 
and the words retained. Mr. Dobbs, an active 
and public-spirited man, but a strange and eccen- 
tric character, subsequently member of Parliament, 
and distinguished for his singular speech at the 
Union, in which he foretold the end of the world, 
and the approach of the Messiah, was entrusted 
by these individuals to carry down the resolutions. 
After the meeting terminated, it occurred to Mr. 
Grattan that the omission of any mention of the 
Catholics in their resolutions was impolitic ; but as 
Lord Charlemont and Mr. Flood were not favour- 
able to them, he thought it vain to press them on 
the matter. But he conceived it would be well to 
unite the Catholics to their party, and that it 
would be politic to throw out some conciliatory 
idea at the meeting. Accordingly, without further 
consultation, he drew up a resolution in their fa- 
vour, which he sent down with the rest: 

Resolved, "that we hold the right of private 
judgment, in matters of religion, to be equally 
sacred in others as in ourselves ; that we rejoice 
in the relaxation of the Penal Laws against our 
Roman Catholic Fellow Subjects, and that we 
conceive the measure to be fraught with the hap- 
piest consequences to the union and prosperity 
of the inhabitants of Ireland. 

Dobbs was ready mounted when this resolution 
was forced into his portmanteau, by Mr. Grattan ; 



[chap. X. 

and, thus laden, their messenger departed. He 
went forth the harbinger of peace, he returned 
the herald of liberty. 

On the 15th of February, 242 delegates, the 
representatives of 143 corps, met at Dungan- 
non. They were received with great pomp by 
the volunteers, who lined the streets on the 
occasion. They held their meeting in the church, 
and deliberated from twelve till eight o'clock 
in the evening. The resolutions of Charlemont 
House were unanimously adopted ; and that 
regarding the Roman Catholics, which was pro- 
posed by Mr. Pollock, and seconded by Mr. 
Black, a Presbyterian minister, passed with only 
two dissentient voices. Others of a similar ten- 
dency were likewise adopted. Thus was the 
junction of the Roman Catholics effected; and 
thus, by the united foresight of three individuals, 
a proceeding which might have proved fatal to 
their country was converted into a medium of 
public good. 

These resolutions spread immediately through- 
out the country ; they were adopted by the volun- 
teers, by the meetings of freeholders, and by the 
grand juries. Lord Clanricarde issued a notice 
from Portumna, calling on the volunteers to ap- 
point delegates and meet those of Connaught ; 
Lord Kingsborough presided at Cork, where the 
delegates of the province of Munster were as- 
sembled ; Mr. Flood was in the chair at a 

CHAP. X.] 



meeting of the province of Leinster, which was 
held in Dublin ; and in all they adopted the reso- 
lutions of the Dunoannon Convention. 

The Government in vain strove to discourage 
these proceedings ; the flame extended the more ; 
for the Government, having now totally lost the 
confidence of the people, was neither feared nor 

Fortified by these proceedings, Mr. Grattan 
again brought forward in the House of Commons, 
on the 22nd February, the question respecting 
the rights of Ireland. He complained that Ire- 
land had been named in four different British 
Acts of Parliament, and one of them published 
by the Secretary in the " Dublin Gazette," not- 
withstanding the solemn and reiterated assur- 
ances that the claim would not be exercised. He 
moved an address to his Majesty, declaring, " that 
the people of Ireland were free, that Ireland was 
a distinct kingdom, and that no other power but 
the King, Lords, and Commons, had any right 
to make laws for Ireland ; that this privilege was 
the very essence of their liberty, and that they 
tendered it as they did their lives :" appealing 
to the magnanimity of the British character, and 
declaring that next to their liberties they valued 
their connexion with Great Britain. 

This motion was seconded by Mr. William 
Brownlow, and supported by Mr. Flood, Mr. 
Burgh, and Mr. Forbes ; but a motion of the 



Attorney-General to adjourn the debate to Au- 
gust, was carried by 137 to 68. 

The subject was again moved in a different 
shape by Mr. Flood on the 26th, and followed by 
a similar result. The law-officers of the crown 
were, however, obliged to abandon the high 
ground which they had held; they retracted 
their former opinions, and at last were driven 
to admit that England had no right to bind Ire- 

The dissolution of Lord North's administration 
was now fast approaching. The losses in A merica 
had at length roused the English to a sense of their 
situation. The opposition in the House of Com- 
mons, led by Mr. Fox, Mr. Burke, Mr. Dunning, 
and General Conway, pressed the Government 
repeatedly and with success. 

On the 8th of March, Lord J. Cavendish made 
a motion stating the losses in the war, and con- 
demning the conduct of ministers. This was lost 
only by a majority of ten upon the previous 
question ; Government being afraid to meet it 

On the 15th the motion was renewed in another 
shape, declaring that they had no confidence in 
ministers; and out of 480 members, the ministers 
could only procure a majority of nine. 

On the 20th, Lord Surry proceeded to bring the 
subject forward again, when Lord North declared 
the ministry no longer existed. 

CHAP. X.] 



For near twelve years the fatal sway of this 
ministry had lasted, and one may say with truth, 
that Lord North was the worst minister England 
ever had ; — very corrupt, devoid of all idea of prin- 
ciple, the slave of the sovereign, the oppressor of 
the people, his sentiments were arbitrary, and his 
government in Ireland showed that he had not the 
least regard for liberty. In that country he was a 
perfect tyrant. Fortunately for England, he failed 
in the American war, or she too would have been 
enslaved ; and fortunately for Ireland, he commit- 
ted great errors of which she dexterously availed 
herself; and to both countries he did infinite and 
lasting mischief. In private he was a good man ; 
a kind husband, a man of pleasantry, full of wit, 
and an agreeble speaker. Lord Chatham's remark 
was a just one : — " What, join with Lord North ! 
You might as wdl coalesce with a plague !" It 
would have been well if these words had been 
remembered a few years afterwards. 

A new and liberal ministry was now quickly 
formed, with the Marquis of Rockingham at its 
head, as first Lord of the Treasury, and Lord 
Shelburne and Mr. Fox as Secretaries of State. 

The English House met, after the recess, on 
the 8th April, when, to the astonishment of 
every one, the Irish Secretary appeared among 
them. He had fled from Ireland ; gone post- 
haste to London, the bearer of Lord Carlisle's 
resignation, and the announcement of the total 

VOL. II. p 



[chap. X. 

failure of his government in Ireland. But he 
found himself anticipated ; for Lord Carlisle had 
been already removed from the Viceroyship of 
Ireland, and from the lieutenancy also of the East 
Riding of Yorkshire. This latter step had been 
taken in order to reinstate the Marquis of Carmar- 
then, who had been deprived of that post of 
honour by the present Government, in conse- 
quence of his votes in the House of Peers. Mr. 
Eden, upon this, refused to communicate with the 
new ministry, or give them any information 
respecting Ireland, and addressed the following 
letter to Lord Shelburne : — 


Downing Street, April 5, 1782. 
My Lord, * 

Having reconsidered the conferences with which your Lord- 
ship yesterday indulged me, I think that I ought specifi- 
cally to state my reasons for having so often declined your 
intimations to me, to enter into opinions and facts respect- 
ing the present circumstances of Ireland, and the measures 
best to be pursued there. When 1 arrived in London, I 
had come prepared and disposed and instructed to serve, 
most cordially, in the critical measure of closing the Lord 
Lieutenant's government, so as to place it with all prac- 
ticable advantages, in the hands of whatever person his 
Majesty's ministers might have destined to succeed to it. 

I presupposed, however, that either his Excellency would 
be recalled very soon, but not without the attentions which 
are due to him, his station, and his services ; or that his 

CHAP. X.] 



Majesty's ministers would assist and instruct him in first 
concluding the business of the session, and the various pub- 
lic measures and arrangements, of some difficulty and con- 
sequence which are immediately connected with it, and 
which cannot be completed in less than four or five 

Finding, however, to my extreme surprise, that the 
manner of giving the Lieutenancy of the East Riding to 
Lord Carmarthen, had been such as to amount to a marked 
and personal insult, when it is considered that the thing- 
taken is merely honorary, and that the person from whom 
it is taken is an absent Viceroy; and hearing also, from 
your Lordship, that the Duke of Portland is not unlikely 
to be made the immediate and actual messenger of his 
own appointment, I, from that moment, declined any com- 
munication respecting facts and measures; because this 
line, adopted towards the present Lord Lieutenant must, 
in my opinion, be fatal to the ease of his successors for a 
long period of time, and ruinous to all Government, and 
the consequent peadre of Ireland. 

Your Lordship has informed me, that this is not meant 
as a personal exertion of power against Lord Carlisle, but 
that his Majesty's ministers have adopted this mode of 
removing the Lord Lieutenant, as a wise measure of Go- 
vernment. I differ so totally in my judgment, that it 
would be idle in me to trouble them further respecting 

I shall, as the duty of my situation requires, wait on 
such of his Majesty's ministers as are disposed to see me, 
and with that respect which is due to them, shall submit 
what I have here stated. 

My next anxiety is to act, for his honour and the public 
service; — two objects which cannot at this moment be 
separated. I am ready this evening, or to-morrow morn 

p 2 



[chap. X. 

ing, at any hour, to attend the commands of his Majesty's 
ministers, either separately or collectively. To-morrow, at 
two, I shall go into the country, to make a visit of personal 
respect and private friendship; and on Monday, in the 
House of Commons, I shall state, as fully as a weak voice 
will permit, what I conceive to be the present circum- 
stances of Ireland. I shall do this without any mixture of 
complaint, and with the most anxious regard to facilitate 
any subsequent system for the public tranquillity; I shall 
only wish to let it be implied by the world, from Irish facts, 
in contradiction to English treatment, that the present 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (I borrow his own words from 
his last letter to your Lordship) u has had the good fortune 
to conduct the business of Ireland, at a most critical pe- 
riod, without discredit to his Majesty's government, and 
with many increasing advantages to the interests of his 

1 have the honour to be, &c. 

William Eden. 

The next day Mr. Eden went to the House and 
stated all the measures the volunteers called for, 
and all of which he and Lord Carlisle opposed ; 
but he recommended the House to agree to them, 
and concluded by moving a partial repeal of the 
6th George I. Conduct so strange and extra- 
vagant, and so entirely irreconcileable with all his 
previous measures, could only be considered as an 
insult to the new government. He refused to 
withdraw his motion, and was threatened with a 
vote of censure. He then proceeded to terrify 
the House, by declaring that he was to return to 

CHAP. X.] 



Ireland next clay, and if he did not bring a favour- 
able account of his motion, all would be too late. 
He was replied to with great force by Mr. Fox, 
and was supported only by Colonel Luttrell, Lord 
Newhaven, and Sir J. Mansfield. At length he 
withdrew the motion, and next day, Mr. Fox pre- 
sented to the House the following message ; a 
similar one was sent to the Lords ; and addresses 
in reply were unanimously voted. 

"His Majesty being concerned to find that discontents 
and jealousies are prevailing amongst his loyal subjects in 
Ireland, upon matters of great weight and importance, 
earnestly recommends to this House, to take the same into 
their most serious consideration, in order to such a final 
adjustment as may give mutual satisfaction to both king- 

1782. " G. R." 

We now turn to the Irish Parliament. On the 
14th of March, Mr. Grattan had declared that he 
would bring on the question of Right ; and his 
friends having attended the House at an early 
hour, he moved and carried the following resolu- 
tion of summons, as being most likely to attract 
the attention of the members, from its new and 
unprecedented style : " Ordered that this House 
be called over on Tuesday the 16th of April next, 
and that the Speaker do write circular letters to the 
members, ordering them to attend that day, as 
they tender the rights of the Irish Parliament." 

The House then adjourned to the 14th April. 



[chap. X. 

On that day, the Duke of Portland, and Mr. Fitz- 
patrick as Secretary, arrived. The latter had not 
a seat in the House, and an interval of two days 
only was to elapse before this momentous ques- 
tion was, for the third time, to be submitted by 
Mr. Grattan to Parliament. 

Mr. Charles Francis Sheridan, who was in com- 
munication with Mr. Grattan, on the part of the 
Duke of Portland, in reference to the intended 
measure, had written to his brother Richard Brins- 
ley in England upon the subject as follows : — 


Dublin, March 27, 1782. 

My dear Dick, 
As to our politics here, I send you a newspaper ; read the 
resolutions of the volunteers, and you will be enabled to 
form some idea of the spirit which at present pervades 
this country. A declaration of the independency of our 
Parliament upon yours will certainly pass our House of 
Commons immediately after the recess. Government here, 
dare not, cannot oppose it. You will see the volunteers 
have pledged their lives and fortunes in support of the 

The grand juries of every county have followed their 
example, and some of the staunchest friends of Govern- 
ment have been, much against their inclinations, com- 
pelled to sign the most spirited resolutions. 

A call of the House is ordered for the first Tuesday after 
the recess, and circular letters from the Speaker, worded 
in this remarkable manner, (i That the members do attend 
on that day, as they tender the rights of Ireland." In 



short, nothing will satisfy the people but the most un- 
equivocal assertion of the total independence of the Irish 
legislature. This flame has been raised within this six 
weeks, and is entirely owing either to the insidious 
design, or unpardonable inattention, of the late admini- 
stration, in including, or suffering to be included, the 
name of Ireland in no less than five British Statutes 
passed last session. People here were ignorant of this till 
Grattan produced the five Acts to the House of Commons, 
one of which Eden had been so imprudent to publish in the 
" Dublin Gazette." Previous to this the general sense of 
the country was, that the mere question of right should 
be suffered to sleep, provided the exercise of the power 
claimed under it should never asjain be resorted to in a 
single instance. 

The sooner you repeal the 6th of Geo. I. the better . 
for, believe me, nothing short of that can now preserve 
union and cordiality between the two countries. 

I am your very affectionate brother, 

C. F. Sheridan. 

The Marquis of Rocking ham had been an early 
friend of Lord Charlemont, and Mr. Fox was an 
old acquaintance ; accordingly they wrote to him 
to try and procure an adjournment of the House, 
in order that the British ministry might obtain 
necessary information as to Ireland : the following 
were their letters. 



[CHAP. X. 


Grafton Street, April 4, 1782. 

My dear Lord, 
If I had occasion to write to you a month ago, I should 
have written with great confidence that you would believe 
me perfectly sincere, and would receive any thing that 
came from me with the partiality of an old acquaintance, 
and one who acted upon the same political principles. I 
hope you will now consider me in the same light; but I 
own I write with much more diffidence, as I am much 
more sure of your kindness to me personally, than of your 
inclination to listen with favour to any thing that comes 
from a Secretary of State. The principal business of this 
letter is to inform you, that the Duke of Portland is ap- 
pointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Colonel Fitz- 
patrick his Secretary ; and when I have said that, I need 
not add, that I feel myself on every private, as well as 
public account, most peculiarly interested in the success of 
their administration. That their persons and characters 
are not disagreeable to your Lordship, I may venture to 
assure myself, without being too sanguine ; and I think 
myself equally certain, that there are not in the world two 
men, whose general way of thinking upon political sub- 
jects, is more exactly consonant to your own. It is not too 
much, therefore, to desire and hope, that you will, at least, 
look upon the administration of such men with rather a more 
favourable eye, and incline to trust them rather more than 
you could do most of those who have been their predecessors. 
Why should not the complete change of system that has 
happened in this country, have t}ie same effect there that 
it has had ? and why should not those who used to com- 
pose the opposition in Ireland, become the principal sup- 



porters of the new administration there, on the same 
grounds on which they opposed the old one? In short, 
why should not the Whigs (I mean in principle, not name) 
unite in every part of the empire to establish their prin- 
ciples so firmly, that no future faction icill be able to destroy 
tli em ? 

With regard to the particular points between the two 
countries, lam really not yet master of them sufficiently to dis- 
cuss them; but I can say, in general, that the new ministry 
have no other wish than to settle them in the way that may 
be most for the real advantage of both countries, whose 
interests cannot be distinct. This is very general indeed ; 
and if this language came from persons whose principles 
were less known to you, I should not expect you to consider 
it as any thing but mere words. As it comes from those 
of whom I know your good opinion, I trust it will pass for 
something more. All we desire is, favourable construction, 
and assistance as far as is compatible with your principles; 
for to endeavour to persuade men to disgrace themselves, 
(even were it possible, as in this instance I know it is not,) 
is very far from being part of the system of the ministry ; 
and the particular time of year at which this change hap- 
pens, is productive of many great inconveniences, espe- 
cially as it will be very difficult for the Duke of Portland 
to be in Dublin before the Parliament meets ; but I cannot 
help thinking, that all reasonable men will concur in re- 
moving some of those difficulties, and that a short adjourn- 
ment will not be denied, if asked. I do not throw out this 
as knowing from any authority it will be proposed, but as 
an idea that suggests itself to me ; and in order to show 
that I write to talk with you, and converse with you in the 
same frank manner in which I should have done before I 
was in the situation, so very' new to me. / have been so 
sure to think ill of all the ministers I did know, and to 



suspect those, I did not, that when I am obliged to call 
myself a minister, I feel as if I put myself in a very sus- 
picious character ; but I assure you, I am the very same 
man, in all respects, that I was when you knew me and 
honoured me with some share in your esteem; that I 
maintain the same opinions, and act with the same people. 
I beg your pardon for so long a letter; but the great desire 
I feel in common with my friends, that we should retain 
your good opinion, must make my apology. 

Pray make my best compliments to Mr. Grattan, and 
iell him that the Duke of Portland and Mr. Fitzpatrick 
are thoroughly impressed with the consequence of his 
approbation, and will do all they can to deserve it. I do 
most sincerely hope that he may hit upon some line that may 
be drawn honourably and advantageously to both countries ; 
and that when that is done, he may show the world, that 
there may be a Government in Ireland, of which he is not 
ashamed to take a part. That country can never prosper 
when what should be the ambition of men of honour is 
considered as a disgrace. I must beg pardon again, for the 
unreasonable length of this letter. I do assure you, my 
dear Lord, that there is no one who values more your 
esteem, or is more solicitous for the continuance of it, than 
Your very obedient humble servant, 

Charles James Fox. 


Grosvenor Square, 9th April, 1782. 

My dear lord Charlemont, 
The long and pleasing friendship which has so mutually and 
so cordially existed between your Lordship and me for so 
many, many years, may now, I trust, facilitate what I am sure 

CHAP. X.] 



has been the object of our public conduct — the mutual ad- 
vantage and prosperity of both these countries ; natural 
distrusts and jealousies will not have the smallest weight 
on either of our minds. The Duke of Portland being- 
appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, I think, my dear 
friend, a pretty good pledge of the fair intentions of 
His Majesty's ministers. His Grace's character and dis- 
position of mind, as well as the principles on which he 
has long acted, are well known to your Lordship, and 
I cannot but hope, that many advantages will arise from 
a trust and confidence in his character, which may , 
produce the happiest effects both in the commencement 
and progress of such plans as may be suggested. I 
can assure your Lordship, that His Majesty's present 
ministers will not loiter in a business of such magnitude. 
This day, His Majesty sends a message to the House of 
Commons, stating that distrusts and jealousies have arisen 
in Ireland, and that it is highly necessary to take them 
into immediate consideration, in order to a final adjust- 
ment. The Duke of Portland will set out for Ireland 
to-morrow evening. His Grace is empowered to send the 
same message to the Parliament of Ireland. I should hope 
that an adjournment of the House of Commons in Ireland 
for a fortnight or three weeks y in order to give the Duke of 
Portland the opportunity of enquiring into the opinions of 
your Lordship, and of the gentlemen of the first weight 
and consequence, will be readily assented to. I cannot think 
that it would be good policy in the House of Commons of 
Ireland to carry on measures at this moment which should 
appear so onerous to extort. In truth, my dear Lord, I 
think the time is come when a new system and new ar- 
rangement of connection between the two kingdoms must 
be settled to the mutual satisfaction and reciprocal interest 
of both. Let us unite our endeavours in so good a work. 



I cannot conclude, without expressing to your Lordship 
how anxious I shall be to hear from you. 
I have the honour to be, 

My dear Lord Charlemont, 

Most affectionately yours, 


Lord Charlemont wrote to Mr. Flood on the 13th, 
requesting him to come to Dublin, and give his 
advice ; but Mr. Flood declined, and Lord Charle- 
mont and Mr. Grattan were left to arrange the pre- 
liminaries. Mr. Grattan was exceedingly ill when 
Lord Charlemont called upon him and stated, that 
letters had been received from Lord Rockingham 
and Mr. Fox, applying for time ; that they were anx- 
ious that the measures should be delayed, and re- 
questingthatMr. Grattan and his friends would post- 
pone them. Mr. Grattan's reply was, " No time ; no 
timeT Accordingly they sent their reply to Eng- 
land. Mr. Grattan being unable to write, dictated 
to Lord Charlemont. They informed the British 
minister, " that they could not delay — that they 
were pledged to the people — that they could not 
postpone the questions, for that these measures 
were public property." Such were the words in 
the letter to the Marquis of Rockingham. The 
following was the letter Lord Charlemont ad- 
dressed to Mr. Fox. 

CHAP. X.] 




Dublin, \Uh April, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

Give me leave in the first place to return you my most sin- 
cere thanks for the honour and favour of your letter. Your 
finding leisure at this busy period, when every moment of 
your time is precious to yourself and to the empire, for the 
recollections of an old friend, is a kindness for which I had 
no reason to expect, and for which I shall ever be grateful. 
You do me also honour and justice in supposing that I 
should at all times receive any thing that conies from you 
with a degree of partiality ; and though the idea of the 
difference between the man and the minister, is in some 
respects a just one, (my thoughts respecting ministers in 
general being nearly similar to what yours were,) yet still I 
can conceive that a man in high ministerial office, may be 
perfectly an honest man. 

Indeed, the arrangement for the present administration 
would alone be sufficient to persuade me of the possibility, 
and such is my regard and affection for many of the 
members of which it is composed, that any doubts on this 
head would render me truly miserable. No man can be 
more rejoiced than I am at the late happy, though tardy 
change. I rejoice in it as a friend to individuals, but more 
especially as a member of the empire at large, which will 
probably be indebted to it for its salvation. I hope also, 
and doubt not, that I shall have reason to rejoice in it as 
an Irishman; for I cannot conceive that they who are 
intent on the great work of restoring the empire, should 
not be ardently attentive to the real welfare of all its parts; 
or I hat true Whigs — genuine lovers of liberty, whose prin- 
ciples I noio honour and strive to imitate — should not wish 
to diffuse this valuable blessing through every part of 



these dominions, whose interests they are called upon to 

The appointment of the Duke of Portland, and his secre- 
tary, is a good presage. I know and respect their principles, 
and should be truly unhappy if any thing in their conduct 
respecting this country, should prevent my perfect co- 
operation with them ; for, my dear Sir, with every degree 
of affection for our kingdom — with every regard for the 
empire at large — / am an Irishman. I pride myself in the 
appellation, and will in every particular act as such ; at 
the same time, declaring that I most sincerely and heartily 
concur with you in thinking that the interest of England 
and Ireland cannot be distinct, and that therefore, in act- 
ing as an Irishman, I may always hope to perform the part 
of a true Englishman also. 

With regard to what you hint respecting an adjourn- 
ment, I sincerely hope it will not be desired, as the matter 
seems to me to involve some great, not to say, insurmount- 
able difficulties. The eyes of all the nation are eagerly 
fixed on the meeting of the 16th. 

The House is convened for that day by this very par- 
ticular summons, " That every member should attend as he 
tenders the Rights of Parliament." 

The declaration of independent legislature is on that 
day to be agitated ; it is expected, by the people, with the 
most anxious impatience; and the minds of all men are so 
anxiously fixed upon the events of that day, which they 
have every reason to imagine will be favourable to their 
wishes, that I should greatly fear the consequence of any 
postponement, especially, as from sad experience, the peo- 
ple have been taught to suppose that a question postponed 
is at the least weakened. This, too, is an act of the 
House, and of the House alone ; Government has nothing 
to say to it, nor will any popularity be gained to the admi- 

CHAP. X.] 



mstration which may happen to be present at the carrying 
uf this question ; on the contrary, suceess will be looked 
on rather as a defeat, than as a voluntary acquiescence. 
Such are the difficulties which occur. However, though 
they appear insuperable, so strong is our wish not to 
throw any obstacles in the way of the present administra- 
tion, that we shall wait to be determined by events. 

I have seen Grattan, and communicated the kind para- 
graph in your letter respecting him. He desires his most 
sincere thanks for your kindness and friendly opinion of 
him. We are both of us precisely of the same mind ; we 
respect and honour the present administration ; we adore 
the principles on which it is founded ; we look up to its 
members with the utmost confidence for their assistance 
in the great work of general freedom, and should be happy 
in our turn to have it in our power to support them in 
Ireland, in the manner which may be most beneficial to 
them, and honourable to us — consulted. Out not considered. 
The people at large must, indeed, entertain a partiality for 
the present ministers; true Whigs must rejoice at the 
prevalence of whiggish principles. The nation wishes 
to support the favourers of American freedom, — the men 
who opposed the detested, the execrated American war. 
Let our rights be acknowledged and secured to us — those 
rights which no man can controvert, but which, to a true 
Whig, are self-evident; and that nation, those lives and 
fortunes, which are now universally pledged for the defence 
of our sister kingdom, and for the support of an admini- 
stration which will justly claim the gratitude of a spirited 
and grateful people, by having contributed to the comple- 
tion of all their wishes. 

You have thought it necessary to apologize for the length 
of your letter, though such an apology was needless. I 
never received any which gave me greater pleasure. What, 


then, ought I to do for the enormity of mine. But excuses 
will take up more of your precious time. I will, therefore, 
at once conclude, begging you to present my most affec- 
tionate compliments to all my friends, and particularly to 
my dear friend, Lord Rockingham, whom I call dear when 
out of office, and have, therefore, a right to term so now. 
Be assured, my dear Sir, that nothing can be more va- 
luable to me than your friendship and esteem, and that 
I desire nothing more ardently than constant opportunities 
of cultivating them, and of proving to you how sincerely I 

Your most faithful, and 

Most obedient servant, 


Another proceeding was also resorted to, of a 
different character, but the object of which was in 
effect the same ; namely, a proposal that Lord 
Charlemont, Mr. Grattan, and their friends, should 
take office. The Government offered anything 
that Lord Charlemont or Mr. Grattan would ask, 
and begged of them to say what they wanted, and 
it should be given, hoping that they would agree 
to an adjournment, and would not then press the 
question of independence, but allow time for con- 

On this subject, it appeared that Lord Charle- 
mont and Mr. Grattan perfectly coincided. They 
decided, that they would not accept anything — 
that they were too high to be sold to any Govern- 
ment ; and they replied, therefore, that they would 
act with the party, but not take office. Lord 

CHAP. X.] 



Charlemont retained those sentiments which had 
induced him to remonstrate with Mr. Flood, on 
his taking office, in 1775, which he had then 
called " an odious report :" and the office itself, 
" a masked pension ;" as " it was impossible that 
office in Ireland conferred the power of doing 

This letter* is well deserving of attention from 
every politician, not only for the purity of its 
style and sentiments, but for the wise advice 
which it contains. It was, however, addressed to 
a person possessing a large fortune, Mr. Flood 
having about 5,000/. a-year ; it cannot, therefore, 
be supposed, that the love or want of money could 
have influenced him. But the case was different 
with regard to the individuals in question ; and as 
Mr. Grattan himself said, referring to these times, 
" I was young and poor ; I had scarcely 500/. 
a-year. Lord Charlemont was as poor as any 
peer, and I as any commoner. We were, how- 
ever, determined to refuse office ; and our opinion, 
and a just one too, was, that office in Ireland was 
different from office in England ; it was not a 
situation held for Ireland, but held for an English 
Government, often in collision with, and frequently 
hostile to Ireland. We stated that we should be 
consulted, but not considered." 

The idea that a person should not take office 
under any Government is preposterous ; but, at 

* See Letters of Henry Flood, p. 73, Lond. Edit. 



this period, and under the particular circumstances, 
it would have been impossible for them to have 
accepted it; they would have been free agents 
no longer, and would have lost favour with the 
people as well as with the Government. It was 
therefore necessary, that the business should be 
quickly done; if it had not, probably, it would 
not have been done at all, or, at least, would not 
have ended quietly ; for, as all parties asked for 
time, it was possible that advantage would be 
taken of delay; and if England refused, the 
volunteers, very probably, would have acted. 

There were, at that time, only 5000 regular 
troops in the country; and the volunteers 
amounted to nearly 100,000 men, full of ardour 
and enthusiasm ; their expectations wound up to 
the highest pitch, and burning with impatience, 
and (more dangerous still) with hopes long deferred. 
In short, nothing could have been more foolish in 
a popular leader, than to allow time to a popular 
body, especially such a body self-armed and self- 
appointed. They would be certain to use it, not 
to discover the perfections, but the imperfections 
of the measure. In fact, popular bodies must 
be forced into freedom ; and this was more ap- 
parent from what occurred afterwards in 1783, 
when they set up a popular cry about renuncia- 
tion, and contended that the measure was in- 

Mr. Flood, Mr. Daly, Mr. Burgh, and Mr. 

CHAP. X.] 



Yelverton, were at first disposed to acquiesce in 
the demands of the British Government ; but, at 
this time, no other influence but that of Mr. 
Grattan weighed with Lord Charlemont, and, 
most fortunately, he went entirely with him on 
the question of independence. Thus, the merit 
of these two individuals was, that they could not 
be bought or seduced from the path of public 
duty ; — a rare and invaluable blessing this for 
public men to possess, and for a nation to reap 
the benefit of. 

These two patriots well knew all the parties 
they had to deal with, and all their different 
bearings. The Duke of Leinster had, in the 
last year, some disagreement with the volunteers, 
on account of his amendment in the Lords, and 
had been removed from the command of some of 
the corps. Mr. Ponsonby had English con- 
nexions, who, though they would not have made 
him sacrifice a great principle, might have per- 
suaded him to yield on minor points. Mr. Co- 
nolly, too, was connected with the Temple family, 
and they would not have been averse to the 
delay, which might have hazarded the question. 
Mr. Hutchinson, at that time, had influence at 
the Castle, and he was cautious and deliberative ; 
and some would have preferred to have the ques- 
tion half carried by themselves, than entirely 
carried by others. 

Thus, Lord Charlemont, Mr. Grattan, and the 
Q 2 



[CHAP. X. 

volunteers, were certain of having a very short po- 
litical existence ; — they did not, in fact, live for 
more than a week; and had they deferred the mea- 
sures, and entered into negociation, it would have 
been the means of procuring terms for England, 
who would have exacted a tribute, or got some 
revenue for what she gave up, just as she after- 
wards attempted in 1785, upon the propositions. 

The opportunity which then presented itself, 
might never have recurred — it was, therefore, the 
more necessary that it should be quickly seized, 
and adroitly managed — the question was one be- 
tween two nations, and was not to be settled by 
petty rules, artificial distinctions, or intricate ne- 
gociations. Mr. Fox's party, when out of power, 
had been friendly, and they were now willing to 
act ; but if difficulties had started up — as in two 
months afterwards they were by Lord Abingdon — 
the friendship of that party might have cooled — 
popular feeling — national pride— commercial jea- 
lousy—might have been brought to operate on the 
minds of British Statesmen ; their ardour might 
have abated, and the ex-ministers would have re- 
commenced their opposition. These were the diffi- 
culties ; here lay the danger — domestic danger 
from the people, the necessary concomitant of a 
vast popular movement ; danger of another sort 
from courtly interference and intrigue, and last, 
not least, danger from British pride and British 
feelings — judge what must have been the sensa- 

CHAP. X.] 



tions, and how great the pang which that nation 
must have felt, when thus called on to relinquish 
the power that for centuries she had claimed, 
usurped, and exercised ; it may be said truly, 
that it was a separation of soul from body. 



Arrival of the Duke of Portland as Viceroy. — Mr. Grattan's resolutions 
approved by Lord Pery. — Predicament of the Irish Government. — 
Support and advice of Mr. Daly. — The Irish claims as set forth by 
Mr. Grattan. — Perplexity of the Government. — Negociations with Mr. 
Grattan. — A levee of patriots. — Excitement on the occasion. — Views of 
the Government. — The important day arrives. — Message of the Crown. 
— Speech of Mr. Grattan. — Ireland is free — Resolutions of the volun- 
teers. — Mr. Grattan's letter to Mr. Fox. — Mr. Day's communication 
with Lord Shelburne. — Constitutional sentiments of the minister 
— Applauded by Mr. Burke. — Mr. Grattan's letter to Mr. Day. — 
His views as to the only course now to be adopted. — Mr. Day's 
interview with the minister. — Mr. Fox's reply to Mr. Grattan. 

On the arrival of the Duke of Portland, Mr. Grat- 
tan had submitted to him and Mr. Fitzpatrick the 
resolutions and the claims, which it was intended 
should be proposed in both Houses of Parliament. 
They read them, and observed that they were 
strong ; they made some objections, and sug- 
gested modifications, which possibly would have 
rendered them less unpalatable in England, and 
which would have injured them considerably ; 
these, of course, could not be agreed to by Lord 
Charlemont or Mr. Grattan ; the latter had pre- 
viously shown them to Lord Pery, who entirely 
approved of them, and promised to support and 
press them on the Duke of Portland ; for, as he 



was privy councillor, he had greater opportunity 
of access to the Lord Lieutenant. Lord Pery was, 
however, accused of not upholding them as he 
ought to have done, and as he was supposed to 
have promised to do. But the truth is, that when 
Lord Pery conferred with the Duke and Mr. 
Fitzpatrick, he asked them what powers they had, 
and the reply was that they had none. Not being- 
consulted, therefore, as a privy councillor, he 
could not advise them to support measures re- 
specting which they had no powers ; and when 
he promised Mr. Grattan to support them, he was 
not aware of the predicament in which the Go- 
vernment was placed : — so that, strictly speaking, 
he was correct. 

From this circumstance alone it became clear 
that delay was dangerous to the cause of Ireland ; 
that it was precisely what the Government sought 
for ; the thing which Mr. Grattan most dreaded ; 
and the course least likely to be expeditious or 

Under these circumstances, he consulted Mr. 
Daly, whom he most trusted, and with whom he 
kept up a constant communication, as he was of 
the court party. Mr. Daly said to him, in words 
which he declared he never forgot, " Take care — 
you have a great responsibility ; — leave nothing un- 
done ; let the work be complete, and let it not be open 
to cavil hereafter." Such was the wise and pru- 
dent advice of one of his best and truest friends. 


Mr. Grattan, thus warned, determined to secure 
the final judicature, and to cutoff appeals to Eng- 
land, both at law and equity. But he was afraid to 
put this prominently in the address, lest it might 
injure the whole, and render their demands still 
more objectionable ; so Mr. Daly and Mr. Grattan 
were satisfied to urge it in the Irish claim, which 
was to be sent over to England, and which Mr. 
Grattan accordingly sent, and which is as fol- 
lows : — 

Enumeration of grievances to be redressed, 1 782. 
The 6th of George T. — inadmissible. 

The practice of the council to alter or suppress. — In- 

The unlimited Mutiny Bill, unlimited in men, duration, 
and without article set forth. — Inadmissible. 

The mode of redress. 
The relinquishment of legislative and appellant judica- 
ture by the British Parliament, or the repeal of 6th 
George I. 

The practice of alteration or suppression of Bills to be 
removed by law. 

The perpetual Mutiny Bill to be repealed, and a new 
Mutiny Bill, with the Declaration of Right, the number of 
men and articles of war set forth, and the whole to be for 
two years. 

Laws necessary to legalize judgments by the House of 
Lords and King's Bench in England — to explain Poyning's 

Limit the regulation of his Majesty's forces. 




The modification of Poyning's law to be radical and by 
act of Paliament, without leaving the shadow of a griev- 
ance to alter. 

" These are the only terms I made with the 
Government. Whether they are honourable to 
me, or serviceable to the public, the calm sense 
of posterity will judge." 

Such was the note which Mr. Grattan subse- 
quently annexed to the copy that he retained 
in his possession. 

The Government were much perplexed by the 
Resolutions intended to be proposed by Mr. 
Grattan ; and finding that the parties they had to 
deal with were inexorable — that they neither could 
be prevailed on to accept office, or to delay the 
measures ; — being at a loss what to do, like most 
men in similar situations, they did nothing ; they 
neither assented nor opposed, and thus the mea- 
sure was left to take its own course, under the 
guidance of Mr. Grattan. 

At that time, Mr. Grattan lived opposite to 
the Castle; and on the days of the 15th and 16th 
of April, crowds of anxious members called upon 
him. It was a levee, not of courtiers but of patriots ; 
carriages blocked up the avenues; the people 
surrounded their leaders ; — eager, anxious, and 
impatient, but determined and composed. No 
communication, no concession was made by the 
Government. Mr. Grattan had declined to see 



Mr. Fitzpatrick, and Mr. Charles Sheridan was 
requested by Government to impart their sen- 
timents to him, and press their wishes ; and he 
was the medium through which the opinion of 
each party was communicated. 

At first the Government approved of the 
Address which Mr. Grattan proposed, but did not 
express any desire to bring it forward, preferring 
it should come from him, but they seemed in- 
clined to support it, if not too extravagant ; after- 
wards, however, they said they would move their 
own address. 

Mr. Grattan, though suffering under ill health, 
was fully prepared. He not only got the Address 
ready, but likewise a set of resolutions; being- 
determined, that if the one failed, he would pro- 
pose the other: in short, nothing had been de- 
finitively arranged until the parties came into the 

Daly, Stewart, Burgh, Brownlow, Yelverton 
and Forbes, accompanied Mr. Grattan. Daly, 
who always gave him good advice, said, "omit 
nothing, ask for every thing;" and when the 
question came on, Government, it must be ad- 
mitted, backed it well. 

At last that important moment approached, 
which was to assert the freedom of a nation, after 
centuries of oppression. The capital was filled 
with volunteers, who had arrived to attend the 
meeting of the province of Leinster, which was to 




be held next day in the metropolis ; cavalry, in- 
fantry, and artillery, were posted on the quays, 
the bridges, and approaches, to the two Houses ; 
other bodies were stationed in various parts of the 
city, and the regular troops lined the passage for 
the Lord Lieutenant. The streets were thronged, 
and the galleries of the House were crowded with 
people at an early hour. Anxiety and suspense 
were on every countenance. The uncertain state 
of affairs; the silence of the Government; the 
eagerness of the volunteers ; the singular position 
of one individual, on whom all responsibility was 
cast ; the nation in arms ; the Castle hesitating, 
and one man left alone at the helm, at a moment, 
when an imprudent step on his part might in- 
volve both kingdoms : — such was the awful state 
of affairs on this eventful day. 

At length, Mr. Hutchinson rose to deliver the 
same message from his Majesty as that which had 
been sent to the Commons of England. He stated 
his attachment to the rights of his country, and 
added, that he spoke merely as a gentleman of 
the country, and not as an officer of the crown ; 
— that he had no authority to say any thing fur- 
ther from the Government. 

Mr. George Ponsonby then moved an address 
of thanks to his Majesty, assuring him, that the 
House would immediately proceed to the great 
objects recommended. 

Mr. Grattan then rose, bearing evident marks 
of much bodily illness, and great mental anxiety. 




" Deep on his front engraven, 
Deliberation sat, and public care, 
And princely counsel in his face yet shone." 

His first sentence pronounced Ireland to be 

" I am now to address a free people ! — Ages 
have passed away, and this is the first moment in 
which you could be distinguished by that appel- 

" I have spoken on the subject of your liberty 
so often, that I have nothing to add, and have 
only to admire by what heaven-directed steps 
you have proceeded, until the whole faculty of 
the nation is braced up to the act of her own de- 

" I found Ireland on her knees ; I watched 
over her with an eternal solicitude ; I have traced 
her progress from injuries to arms, and from arms 
to liberty. Spirit of Swift! spirit of Molyneux ! 
your genius has prevailed ! Ireland is now a 
nation ! In that new character I hail her ! and 
bowing to her august presence, I say, Esto 
perpetua /" 

He concluded a long and splendid oration, by 
moving an address of thanks to his Majesty, 
by way of amendment, setting forth the claims 
and the protest of Ireland, as follows : — 

*' To assure his Majesty of our unshaken attachment to 
his Majesty's person and government, and of our lively 
sense of his paternal care, in thus taking the lead to ad- 
minister content to his Majesty's subjects of Ireland. 

CHAP. XI.] IGth OF APRIL, 1782. 


" That thus encouraged by his royal interposition, we 
shall beg leave, with all duty and affection, to lay before 
his Majesty the cause of our discontents and jealousies; — 
to assure his Majesty that his subjects of Ireland are a 
free people; — that the crown of Ireland is an imperial 
crown, inseparably annexed to the crown of Great Britain, 
on which connexion the interests and happiness of both 
nations essentially depend ; but, that the kingdom of Ire- 
land is a distinct kingdom, with a Parliament of her own, 
the sole legislature thereof ; — that there is no body of men 
competent to make laws to bind this nation, except the 
King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland, nor any other Par- 
liament which hath any authority or power of any sort 
whatsoever in this country, save only the Parliament of 
Ireland. To assure his Majesty, that we humbly conceive, 
that in this right the very essence of our liberties exists, — 
a right which we, on the part of the people of Ireland, do 
claim as their birthright, and which we cannot yield but 
with our lives. 

u To assure his Majesty, that we have seen, with con- 
cern, certain claims advanced by the Parliament of Great 
Britain, in an Act entitled, ' An Act for the better securing 
the dependency of Ireland — an Act containing matter 
entirely irreconcileable to the fundamental rights of this 
nation : that we conceive this Act, and the clauses it 
advances, to be the great and principal cause of the dis- 
contents and jealousies in this kingdom. 

M To assure his Majesty, that his Majesty's Commons 
of Ireland do most sincerely wish, that all bills which 
become laws in Ireland, should receive the approbation of 
his Majesty, under the seal of Great Britain ; but that we 
do consider the practice of suppressing our bills in the 
council of Ireland, or altering the same any where, to be 
another just cause of discontent and jealousy; to assure 



his Majesty, that an Act, entitled, ' An Act for the better 
accommodation of his Majesty's forces/ being unlimited 
in duration, and defective in other instances, but in that 
shape, from the particular circumstances of the times, is 
another just cause of discontent and jealousy in this king- 

" That we have submitted these, the principal causes of 
the present discontent and jealousy of Ireland, and remain 
in humble expectation of redress. 

"That we have the greatest reliance on his Majesty's 
wisdom, the most sanguine expectations from his virtuous 
choice of a chief governor, and great confidence in the wise, 
auspicious, and constitutional council, which we see with 
satisfaction his Majesty has adopted. 

"That we have, moreover, a high sense and veneration 
for the British character, and do therefore conceive, that 
the proceedings of this country, founded as they were in 
right, and tempered by duty, must have excited the appro- 
bation and esteem, instead of wounding the pride, of the 
British nation. 

" And we beg leave to assure his Majesty, that we are 
the more confirmed in this hope, inasmuch as the people 
of this kingdom have never expressed a desire to share the 
freedom of England, without declaring a determination to 
share her fate likewise ; standing and falling with the 
British nation." 

This address was seconded by Mr. Brownlow, 
and passed unanimously, receiving the assent of 
Mr. Flood and Mr. Fitzgibbon, two individuals, 
whose subsequent conduct, as will appear in the 
course of these Memoirs, formed a strange con- 
trast to the part they took upon this occasion. 



Joy was quickly diffused through the city and the 
country. A new existence seemed to have been 
generated ; the exultation was national and uni- 
versal ; all men were pledged to the contents of 
the Address;* and the next day, the Delegates 
of a hundred and thirty-nine corps of Volunteers 
of the Province of Leinster, with Colonel Henry 
Flood in the chair — 

" Resolved unanimously, — That we feel our- 
selves called upon to declare our satisfaction in 
the unanimous sense of the House of Commons, 
expressed in favour of the rights of Ireland, in 
their address to the King yesterday, as amended 
by Colonel Grattan, and that we will support 
them therein with our lives and fortunes. 

" Resolved unanimously, — That the thanks of 
this Meeting be given to Colonel Grattan for his 
extraordinary exertion and perseverance in as- 
serting the rights of Ireland." 

After this important debate and address, Lord 
Charlemont wrote to Lord Rockingham as follows. 

* The remark of Mr. Grattan on the event of this day, was one that 
should not be omitted, contrasting the success in 1782 with the proceed- 
ings of 1800, he observed, " There are two days in the Irish history that 
I can never forget : — The one on which we gained our freedom. How 
great the triumph ! How moderate ! How well it was borne, — with 
what dignity, and with all absence of vulgar triumph ! I shall ever re- 
member the joy on that occasion! The other was the day in which we 
lost our Parliament. It was a savage act, done by a set of assassins who 
were brought into the House to sell their country and themselves; they did 
not belong to Ireland : some were soldiers, all were slaves. Every thing 
was shame, and hurry, and base triumph ! ! ! " 




April 17, 1782. 

My dear Lord, 
As in writing to your Lordship, I find it indispensably 
necessary, that I should follow and communicate the im- 
mediate feelings of my heart, I cannot, at this con- 
juncture, begin a letter to you, without expressing my joy 
and exultation at the late happy change of administration, 
• — a change, in which I rejoice, as a patriot and as a friend; 
for, since the welfare of the empire at large is, I trust, one 
of my earnest wishes, can any thing be more pleasing to a 
mind so impressed, than to find that empire rescued from 
ruin, principally by the man to whom I have been so long 
used, in the most eminent degree, to love and honour, — 
the gratification of another passion ; — indeed, the ruling of 
my soul intervenes also, to complete my satisfaction ; and 
the love of my country induces me to exult in the power of 
a man, whose well-known love of general liberty, gives me 
the best-grounded reason to hope that he will employ that 
power in restoring the invaluable blessing of freedom to 
every part of these dominions. From what I have now 
said, your Lordship will readily conceive, that no greater 
misfortune could possibly befal me, than to be prevented, 
in any way, from giving my whole support to an adminis- 
tration which is, in every respect, so dear to me; but, 
thank heaven, I have little reason to dread any such event, 
yet, unfortunately, a difficulty occurred at setting out : 
the adjournment proposed by your Lordship was absolutely 
impracticable; and a thorough knowledge of the state of 
this country, would, I am sure, convince you, that it would 
have been extremely imprudent to have hazarded the pro- 
position; the parliamentary declaration of right was anx- 
iously looked up to as an essential and necessary pre- 




liminary; — it was a measure, pointed out by the people, 
from which nothing could ever have induced them to 
recede; and if an adjournment had been proposed, the new 
administration would undoubtedly have been defeated, at the 
frst setting out. The message sent to Parliament rendered 
an immediate proceeding still more indispensable. The 
King desired to be informed of the causes of discontent ; 
and those causes could not have been too soon ascertained 
and declared, in order to their speedy removal. The nation 
was, to the last degree, anxious, and the minds of all men 
were attentively fixed on the event of the 16th of April; 
and so decidedly was the sense of the people against any 
adjournment, that by giving way in a matter so very re- 
pugnant to their wishes, we, whose power of support consists 
principally, if not wholly, in our popularity, might have 
endangered that influence, which, upon the expected and 
necessary redress of all our grievances, we wish to employ 
in your behalf. These reasons, and many others too te- 
dious to be now detailed, induced me to think the measure 
proposed, not only improper, but highly imprudent also; 
and they seemed to have some weight with the Duke of 
Portland, who honoured me with a long conference on 
the subject, and who, with great prudence as well as 
goodness, gave up the point. Neither could he, I am con- 
fident, have any reason to repent his concession ; at the 
same time, lest it should be thought that our aversion to 
postponement concealed under it the least distrust to the 
present Administration, I think it necessary to declare to 
your Lordship, as I did to the Lord Lieutenant, that my 
mind is incapable of harbouring any such principle ; my 
intimate knowledge of your merit, naturally and neces- 
sarily annul all distrust. Yes, my dearest Lord, I look up 
to you with the most unbounded confidence, — a confidence 
founded upon a thorough knowledge of your principles 




and your wisdom. We ask but for our rights,— our in- 
controvertible rights ; — restore them to us, and for ever 
unite, in the closest and best rivet ted bands of' affection, the 
kingdom of Ireland to her beloved, though hitherto unkind, 
sister ; — bind us to you by the only chain that can connect 
us, — the only chain we will ever consent to wear, — the dear ties 
of mutual love and mutual freedom. But I have already 
detained you too long; pardon this unconscionable letter. 
I shall hasten to conclude, by returning you my most sin- 
cere acknowledgments for the honour and favour of yours ; 
and by assuring you, that as I loved you out of office, my 
affection still equally continues, even though you are a 
great minister, — a rank of men with which my heart has 
not often been much connected. Lady Charlemont joins 
with me in best respects to Lady Rockingham, and desires 
her sincere compliments of congratulation to your Lord- 
ship. Believe me, my dearest Lord, that I speak not less 
than the sentiments of my heart, when I assure you, that 
I have the honour to be, 
Your Lordship's most faithful, and 

Most obedient humble servant, 


In order to give time to the British Ministry to 
make the necessary arrangements, and decide 
upon the exact measures to be proposed, the 
House adjourned from the 24th of April, to the 
4th of May. Meantime addresses of support 
poured in from all quarters. The volunteers 
pledged themselves thenceforth to uphold the House 
of Commons in their demands. * Thanks were 

* See the various resolutions in the Appendix. 



unanimously voted to Mr. Grattan, and he was 
admitted honorary member of the several corps. 

The Parliament being now committed, and the 
country pledged so that they could not retreat, 
Mr. Grattan wrote to Mr. Fox a statement of the 
claims of Ireland — the feelings of the people — their 
objects, and their wish to join with England, on 
the basis of Irish rights and Irish affection, — the 
best and firmest bond of connexion. The letter 
contains unanswerable arguments, and sound 
principles; it is remarkable for the advice that it 
gives, and for the spirit, the judgment, and the 
address that it displays. 


Dublin, April 18, 1782. 


I shall make no apology for writing in the present posture 
of things ; I should rather deem it necessary to make an 
apology for not writing. Ireland has sent an address 
stating the causes for discontents and jealousies. Thus, 
the question between the two nations becomes capable of 
a specific and final settlement; we are acquitted of being 
indefinite in discontents and jealousy ; we have stated the 
grounds of them, and they are those particulars in which 
the practical constitution of Ireland is diametrically oppo- 
site to the principles of British liberty : a foreign legisla- 
tion — a foreign judicature — a legislative Privy Council — and 
a perpetual army. 

It is impossible for any Irishman to be reconciled to any 
part of such a constitution, and not to hold in the most 

R 2 




profound contempt the constitution of England. Thus, 
you cannot reconcile us to your claim of power, without 
making us dangerous to your liberty ; and you will also, I 
am confident, allow, that in stating such enormities as just 
causes of discontents and jealousies, we have asked nothing 
which is not essential to our liberty. Thus, we have gained 
another step in the way to a settlement ; we have defined 
our desires, and limited them, and committed ourselves only 
to what is indispensable to our freedom ; and we have the 
further argument, that you have thought it indispensable to 
yours. One question then only remains, whether, what is 
necessary for us to have, is safe and honourable to Great 
Britain? The perpetual Mutiny Bill, and the legislative 
power exercised by the councils of both kingdoms, it is 
scarcely necessary to dwell upon, inasmuch as I make no 
doubt you hold them to be mischievous or useless to 
England. The legislative power of the council cannot be 
material to the connection, though the necessity of passing 
bills under the seal of Great Britain may be so. The 
power of suppressing in the Irish, and of altering in the 
English council, never has been useful to England ; on the 
contrary, it has frequently been the cause of embarrassment 
to the British Government. I have known Privy Council- 
lors agree to bills in parliament, and in council alter them 
materially, by some strong clause inserted, to show their 
zeal to the king at the expense of the popularity of govern- 
ment. In England, an attorney-general, or his clerk, from 
ignorance, or corruption, or contempt, may, and often have, 
inserted clauses in Irish bills, which have involved the Irish 
government in lasting consequences with the people ; for you 
must see, that a servant of government in Great Britain, 
uninformed of the passions of Ireland, may, in the full exer- 
cise of legislative power, do irreparable mischief to his king 
and his country, without being responsible to either. I 




could mention several instances ; but a Mutiny Bill rendered 
perpetual, is a sufficient one to show how impolitic that 
law is, which commits the machine of the constitution, and 
the passions of the human mind, to the hands of one man. 
The negativing our bills is a right never disputed ; the 
poisoning them, is a practice we do most ardently depre- 
cate, from sound reasoning and sad experience. I brought 
to parliament a list of the alterations made for the last ten 
years in Irish bills, by the privy councils or attorney-gene- 
ral, and there was not one single alteration made on a sound 
legislative motive. Sometimes an alteration to vex the pres- 
byterian,made by the bishops; sometimes an alteration made 
by an over-zealous courtier to make government obnoxious, 
and to render himself at the same time peculiarly accep- 
table to the King. Sometimes an alteration from ignorance, 
and not seldom for money. I shall therefore, suppose 
the power of the council no object to a principled adminis- 
tration, and no vital question between the two kingdoms. 
We shall have then cleared the way to the great question 
of supremacy. For I conceive the legislative and judica- 
tive supremacy, to be one question. If you retain a legis- 
lative power, you must reserve the final determination of 
law, because you alone will determine the law in support 
of your claim. Whereas, if you cede the claim, the ques- 
tion of judicature is one of private property, not of national 
ascendancy , ajid becomes as useless to you as opprobrious 
to us; besides, there are circumstances which render the 
appellant judicature to you, the most precarious thing 
imaginable. The Lords of Ireland have on their journals 
a resolution, that they are ready to receive appeals; so 
that after the final settlement with England, if the judica- 
ture was not included, any attorney might renew the 
contest. The decrees of the Lords of England and the 
King's Bench, likewise affecting Ireland, are executed by 



[chap. XI. 

the officers of the courts of justice of Ireland, The judges 
of Ireland are now independent; two of the barons or 
judges may put a total stop to the judicature of the Lords 
of England, by refusing to lend the process of their court : — 
so that, in order to determine the final judicature, it would 
be unnecessary to go farther than the authority of a few 
judges independent of England by their tenure, dependent 
on Ireland by their residence, and perhaps influenced by 
conscience or by oath. Besides, the 6th of George the First 
is enacting as to the appealing, as well as to the jurisdictive 
power ; if the former part stands, we are divested of our 
supreme judicature, by an actual exercise of the supreme 
legislative power. And thus a partial repeal would be de- 
fective upon principles legislative as well as jurisdictive. 
You cannot cede your legislative claim, and enjoy its juris- 
dictive under its authority and exercise. And a whole law 
must (if the claim of legislation is ceded) fall totally. The 
question then between the two nations is thus reduced to 
one point; will England cede the claim of supremacy? 
You seem willing to cede it. Your arguments have led to 
it: when I say your arguments, I mean the liberal and 
enlightened part of England. Both nations by what they 
have said, — one by what it has admitted, and the other by 
what it has asserted, — have made the claim of England im- 
practicable. The reserve of that claim of course becomes 
unprofitable odium, and the relinquishment is an acquisi- 
tion of affection, without a loss of power. Thus, the 
question between the two nations is brought to a mere punc- 
tilio. Can England cede with dignity ? — and I submit she 
can ; — for if she has consented to enable His Majesty to 
repeal all the laws respecting America, among which the 
Declaratory Act is one, — she can with more majesty repeal 
the declaratory act against Ireland, who has declared her 
resolution to stand or fall with the British nation, and has 




stated her own rights, not by appealing to your fears, but 
to your magnanimity. You will please to observe in our 
address, a veneration for the pride as well as a love for tlie 
liberty of England. You will see in our manner of trans- 
mitting the address, we have not gone to the Castle with 
the volunteers, as in 1779. It was expedient to resort to 
such a measure with your predecessors in office. 

In short, Sir, you will see in our requisition, nothing 
but what is essential to the liberty and composure of one 
country, and consistent with the dignity and interest of the 
other. These things granted, the Administration in Ire- 
land will certainly meet with great support — I mean na- 
tional as well as parliamentary ; and, in consequence of 
these things, some laws will be necessary : — An Act to quiet 
property held undergo /-we/- judgments or decrees in Eng- 
land — a Mutiny Bill — a bill to modify Poyning's Law. 
Possibly it might be judicious that some of them should be 
moved by the Secretary here. It would contribute to his 
popularity. It will be, perhaps, prudent to adjourn to 
some further clay, until the present Administration have 
been formed. 

Before I conclude, I will take the liberty to guard you 
against a vulgar artifice, which the old court (by that I 
mean the Carlisle faction) will incline to adopt. They 
will, perhaps, write to England false suggestions that Ire- 
land will be satisfied with less, and that the Irish Adminis- 
tration are sacrificing to Irish popularity British rights ; 
and then they will instigate Ireland to stand upon her 
ultimatum, and thus embarrass Government, and betray 
the people. I know the practice was adopted in Lord 
Buckingham's Administration, by men mortified by his 
frugality. Might I suggest (if you mean, as I am well 
inclined to believe, and shall be convinced by the success 
of our application, a government by privilege,) that it 




would be very beneficial to the character of your govern- 
ment in Ireland, to dismiss from their official connexion 
with Government some notorious consciences, to give a vi- 
sible, as well as real integrity, to his Majesty's Councils in 
Ireland, and to relieve them from a certain treachery in 
men who will obey you, and betray you. It would be pru- 
dent to exhibit to the public eye a visible constitutional 
Administration. The people here have a personal antipathy 
to some men here, who were the agents of former corrup- 
tion, and would feel a vindictive delight in the justice of 
discarding them. When I say this, I speak of a measure 
not necessary absolutely, if the requisitions are complete ; 
but very proper and very necessary to elevate the character 
of your Government, and to protect from treachery 
your consultations. And when I say this, it is without 
a view to myself, who, under the constitutional terms set 
forth, am willing to take any part in the Administration , 
provided it is not emolumentary \ The Minister here will 
find very great opportunities of vigorous retrenchments ; 
such as will not hazard him with the House of Commons, 
and may excite an enthusiasm in his favour without-doors. 

I am running into inordinate length, and beg to conclude 
with assurances of great constitutional hope, and personal 
admiration, and am, with much respect, 

Your most humble and obedient servant, 

Henry Grattan. 

Mr. Grattan had next recourse to his friend Day, 
who was then in London, and he requested him 
to apply to the Prime Minister. Lord Shelburne 
and Mr. Day were natives of the same county ; 
and the latter was one of the delegates from Kerry, 
and having the honour of a familiar acquaintance 




with him, he readily undertook to be the bearer 
of the communication on the subject. The senti- 
ments of the following letter are remarkable, as 
well for the constitutional principles they contain, 
as for the feeling so well expressed in reference 
to the connexion of Ireland with Great Britain — 
namely, that " he was desirous, above all things , 
next to the liberty of this country, not to accustom 
the Irish mind to an alien and suspicious habit 
with regard to Great Britain." This was the sen- 
timent which, in public and private, he uniformly 
expressed, and for which he received ample credit, 
as will appear in a letter from Mr. Burke, at a 
subsequent period of his life, at the very time 
when he was accused of harbouring intentions 
hostile to the connexion. 


April 22, 1782. 

My dear Day, 
Take the first opportunity of going to Lord Shelburne, 
and state to him, as a friend to both countries, the absur- 
dity of negociation on the Irish subject. We have sent an 
ultimatum ; we have asked for rights. Exclusive judica- 
ture and exclusive legislature, are our rights ; we cannot 
consent to pay for them, or to negotiate upon them. The 
country is committed, and cannot put in a train of treaty 
what is decided in both Houses of Parliament, and backed 
by the lives and fortunes of the nation. Take notice that 
we not only conceive ourselves committed, but conceive the 
question now carried, and drink " the 16th of April, 1782," 
as the day of our redemption. We wait only to thank 
England, not to negociate with her, and such a convulsion 




in the public mind as a negotiation would be very dis- 
agreeable to all parties. The idea of negociation would 
suspend all the operations of Parliament, and would end 
in the unconditional and total repeal of the 6th of George I. 
without so much grace as would attend an immediate and 
unsuspicious repeal. You know enough of Ireland to say 
that such a proposition would end in nothing but disap- 
pointment ; — it would throw us on the defensive. No 
English law, nor judgment, nor decree, can be executed 
without the consent of the officers of the Courts of Ireland ; 
they will never consent, they dare not consent ; because 
they are, in common with the rest of the nation, covenanted 
to stop the execution of such things. The powers, legisla- 
tive and jurisdictive,are become impracticable. We have ren- 
dered them so ourselves, and all we ask of England is, that 
she will withdraw a barren claim ; — that we may shake 
hands with her. But we cannot pay for that ; we cannot 
pay to get rid of a barren claim, which now takes away our 
confidence, rather than our liberty. There must occur to 
you another very strong argument against a negociation ; 
viz., that we have nothing to yield in negociation. We can- 
not negociate away the freedom of our trade, nor of our 
Constitution ; we cannot establish perpetual regulations 
more favourable to England than to Ireland, with regard to 
commerce ; a fluctuating subject which cannot be ruled but 
by occasional laws. We cannot give revenue to England 
for our rights, for many reasons : first, because we have it 
not. The revenues of Ireland, on the closing the account 
this year, wanted more than 250,000Z. of supplying the 
expenses of the nation. We have for these eight years 
regularly made unsuccessful efforts to raise revenue to in- 
come. Every new tax has fallen infinitely short of the 
estimate; and upon a view of the produce of commercial 
taxes, it will be found that the commerce of Ireland is not 
a subject of further taxation. 




As to land, you know how such a proposition would be 
received, and how ill men would relish a land-tax in retri- 
bution for withdrawing a claim which cannot be enforced. 
The great expense of England would not feel that Irish 
subsidy which would stop the growth, inflame the passions, 
and totally banish that glow of affection and expectation 
with which Ireland now waits to shake hands witli Eng- 
land for ever. 

We can give nothing but affection, which is better and 
more valuable to England than any stinted, reluctant reve- 
nue, w rung from a country who asks for nothing but her 
right, and must be in the exercise of that right for some 
time before she can be in the possession of affluence. If 
we are not able to pay for the recovery of that right, it is 
because we have been so long deprived of it. 

Contemplate for a moment our resources, if England, or 
the ministers, should put our right in a train of negociation. 
We retire within ourselves, preserving our allegiance to the 
Crown as annexed to England, and in perfect obedience to 
ali the laws of Ireland ; but we do not execute English 
laws nor English judgments ; ice keep to our covenants and 
our associations, consume our oivn manufactures, keep on 
terms of amity with England under the laic, with that diffi- 
dence which must exist, if she is so infatuated in support 
of a claim to take away our liberty. All this is consistent 
with the law of the land, though not with the interest of 
England, nor the cordiality of both countries. My great 
object is to put an end to that painful state of mind, and 
that alienated sentiment, which a negative or a negotiation 
founded on our ultimatum would inspire; and, therefore, 
I do most ardently submit (wishing to put an end to all 
jealousies, disputes, and settlements with the British nation, 
and desirous, above all things, next to the liberty of this 
country, not to accustom the Irish mind to an alien and 



suspicious habit with regard to Great Britain ; knowing, as 
I do, that Ireland will not negotiate upon rights to which 
she is now committed, and knowing that she has nothing 
effectual to give, except affection) — I say, I submit, that the 
unconditional repeal is the only wise and brilliant measure. 

Yours, most sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 

In consequence of this very remarkable and 
urgent letter, Mr. Day waited on Lord Shelburne, 
and, as he expresses it, " was received, as well as 
the important subject of which he was the bearer, 
with the most distinguished courtesy and com- 
placency, and Lord Shelburne took up the subject 
with the warm feelings of an Irishman, and the 
anxiety of a sincere patriot." 

The following was the reply of Mr. Fox to 
Mr. Grattan: — 


Grafton Street, April 27, 1782. 


I have received the honour of your letter of the 18th inst., 
and am exceedingly obliged to you for it. 

The business of Ireland becomes so very important, that 
it would be imprudent in me (especially as it is not within 
my department), to give any direct opinion upon the 
various points which make the subject of your letter. 
What I do think myself at liberty to say is, that it is my 
ardent wish, that matters may be so settled, as to give 
satisfaction to both countries; and, above all, that what- 
ever settlement is made, may be so made as to preclude all 



future occasions of dispute, between two nations upon 
whose mutual union the prosperity of both so unquestion- 
ably depends. That as close a connexion may subsist 
between us as the nature of the case will admit, must be 
my wish as an Englishman ; that this connexion may be 
such as may consist with the liberty and happiness of 
Ire/and, I must wish as a Whig, and as one who professes 
to hold the natural rights of mankind far more sacred 
than any local prejudices whatever. I am sure I share 
these feelings in common with your Lord Lieutenant and 
his Secretary; and if ever you should think it worth while 
to inquire into my political sentiments upon any point, you 
may always be pretty sure of them, when you know those 
of these persons. 

With respect to the last part of your letter, I can have 
no scruple to say, that it gives me the greatest degree of 
pleasure ; because, whatever measures may be pursued, I 
am certain no government can have the confidence of the 
people, while it has the misfortune to reckon the most 
brilliant talents, and the most respectable characters, 
among the number of its opponents. I differ very widely 
indeed from Mr. Eden, who seems to consider an opposi- 
tion of less importance, in proportion to the virtue and 
character of those who compose it. Pray give my best 
respects to Lord Charlemont, and believe me to be, 
With great truth and regard, 

Your obedient humble servant, 

Charles James Fox. 



Mr. Grattan and the Lords.— Vexatious expense of appeals. — History of 
the transaction. — Lords Pery and Charleraont. — Mr. Fitzgibbon. — 
Mr. Scott — His remarkable speech. — Mr. Grattan succeeds in a 
final judicature for Ireland. — Resolutions of support. — His reply to 
an address from the Clanricarde volunteers. — Letters from Mr. 
Grattan to Mr. Fox and Mr. Day. — Letter from the Duke of Portland 
to Mr. Fox. — Mr. Fitzpatrick on the foregoing topic. — His letter to 
Mr. Grattan. — The best objects gained in the best manner. — Character 
and conduct of Mr. Fitzpatrick. — The patriots trust to Mr. Fox, but 
keep clear of the court. — Noble character and conduct of Mr. Fox. — 
His treatment of Ireland. 

Whilst matters were thus auspiciously proceed- 
ing, Mr. Grattan and Mr. Daly wrote to their 
friends, and canvassed both in England and Ire- 
land, in order to procure supporters for the claim 
to the entire of the measure. Mr. Grattan's 
friend, Robert Day, on this occasion, as always, 
was most active and zealous in the cause. 

The principle having been agreed upon, they 
applied to the Upper House ; but here, (strange to 
say) they found it most difficult to reconcile the 
Lords to their own privileges. Mr. Grattan used 
jocosely to say of them, 6 ' I carried the Lords 
upon my back : and a heavier load I never bore. 



I could never have got them to move, if it had not been 
for the bayonets of the volunteers." 

The expense of appeals to England had long- 
been a subject of complaint in Ireland. Mr. 
Burgh, Mr. Scott, and even Mr. Fitzgibbon, 
stated that it was tantamount to a denial of 
justice. Many suitors were induced to relinquish 
their rights, rather than be at the trouble of pro- 
secuting them, subject to the delay and expense 
of an appeal to the Lords in England. The idea 
of the recovery of the appellant jurisdiction was 
first conceived by Mr. G rattan. The volunteers 
and the county meetings had been silent on the 
subject, and the resolutions at Dungannon had not 
noticed it. 

The injustice towards Ireland in this respect was 
severe in the extreme, and the history of the tran- 
sactions is worth attention. The English House of 
Lords had at former periods taken advantage of the 
Irish Parliament not sitting, and had usurped the 
power of their Peers. They proceeded in the 
following tyrannical manner. So far back as the 
year 1G98, the Governor and Plantation of Ulster 
petitioned the English House of Lords against a 
judgment given by the Irish House of Lords, in a 
case of theirs against the Bishop of Deny, and 
decreed that the case was coram non judice, and 
the proceedings were null and void. The Irish 
House of Lords protested against this proceeding, 
and in 1703 they enforced their orders in the 




case of the Earl of Meath, and commanded the 
Sheriff to put him into possession. 

In 1717, the English House of Lords re-assumed 
the usurped authority ; they entertained an appeal 
from Maurice Annesley, against a decision of the 
Irish Lords, and had recourse to the Barons of 
the Irish Exchequer, who ordered the Sheriff to 
obey the English order, and put the party in 
possession. The Sheriff had the spirit to refuse 
obedience. The Barons fined the Sheriff ; he 
petitioned the House of Lords, who agreed on a 
representation to his Majesty, complaining of the 
conduct of the Barons, and setting forth the right 
of Ireland to the final judicature. The English 
House of Lords, upon this, passed the Act of the 
6th George L, and the Bill securing the depen- 
dency of the kingdom of Ireland on the Crown 
of Great Britain. 

Lord Pery and Lord Charlemont approved of the 
course that was now agreed upon. Lord Farnham, 
whom Mr. Grattan knew, and other Lords, were 
applied to ; but as this was a subject which the 
volunteers had not mentioned, and as the people 
were not pledged to it, some risk would be run if 
it was brought forward at once. Accordingly, 
Mr. Grattan thought it advisable to get it men- 
tioned in Parliament, and he arranged with his 
friends to bring the question on in the House, and 
proposed to have a conversation on the subject. He 
then went to Mr. Fitzgibbon (Lord Clare), for at 




that time they were good friends. Mr. Fitzgibbon 
belonged to neither party ; the subject was men- 
tioned to him, and he approved of it. He pro- 
mised he would speak on it when it should be 
mentioned in the House, and he did so ; he spoke 
well, and got credit for his speech. 

The Duke of Portland and the Government were 
not aware of this movement ; and they were dis- 
satisfied, and complained of Mr.Grattan's conduct. 
But the effect of this step was quickly visible ; it 
strengthened the application to England, and 
secured the additional object. This appears from 
Mr. Fitzpatrick's letter of the 28th Jan. 1800, 
from whence may be collected that the final 
judicature was not then in the contemplation of 
the British Government, and even in Ireland it 
came by surprise. 

Thus was effected, by the steady and inflexible 
perseverance of one individual, a great public 
benefit, just as the Union of the Catholics and 
Protestants at Dungannon had been accomplished 

The spirit and feelings of the people kept pace 
with the exertions of their leader, and the fol- 
lowing Resolutions show the sentiments that per- 
vaded the nation at this time. The satisfaction 
expressed at the relaxation of the Penal Laws does 
credit to the feeling of the age ; and the mention 
of purchasing camp equipage for the volunteers, 
by a Bishop and an Englishman, is not the least of 

VOL. II. s 



[chap. XII. 

the singular features that these times exhibited. 
The conduct of this eccentric ecclesiastic will 
appear further on, in the progress of this work ; in 
this instance, the Earl of Bristol was unques- 
tionably one of the church militant. 


At a meeting of the Mullingar corps, on Friday, April 12, 
1782, William Judge, Esq., Colonel, in the chair, the 
following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to : — 

That the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland are 
the only power competent to make laws to bind this king- 
dom ; and that we will not assist in the executing of any, but 
those enacted by the legislature aforesaid. 

That we highly approve of the wise, spirited, and 
liberal Resolutions of the Gentlemen of the County of Gal- 
way, on the 31st of March last, and that we will co-operate 
with them, and our volunteer brethren, in every constitu- 
tional measure for obtaining the most perfect, unequivocal 
establishment of the just rights of Ireland. 

That we highly approve of, and rejoice in, the relaxation 
of the Penal Popery Laws of this kingdom. 

William Judge, Chairman. 

County of Longford, Edgworthstown Battalion. 

At a Meeting of the Edgworthstown Battalion, April 14, 
1782, Captain Slator in the Chair : 

Resolved unanimously, That Ireland is an independent 
kingdom, and that we conceive ourselves called on, at this 
interesting crisis, by the duty we owe ourselves and our 
country, publicly to declare that the King, Lords, and 
Commons of Ireland, are the only power competent to make 
laws to bind Ireland ; and that we cannot admit the inter- 




ference of any foreign Legislature whatever, without a 
manifest violation of our unalienable rights. 

Resolved unanimously, That as men of honour, and vo- 
lunteers, we will ardently co-operate with the patriot sons 
of Ireland, in every constitutional mode of emancipating 
our country from impolitic restraints, and establishing, on 
a firm and permanent basis, unequivocal freedom. 

Resolved unanimously, That a Declaration of Rights 
from our Legislature is expedient and necessary, as tending 
in its operation to prevent future innovations on the part of 
England, and future jealousies on the part of Ireland, and 
consequently to unite the sister nations in the indissoluble 
bands of reciprocal interest and affection. 

Resolved unanimously, That the powers claimed by the 
Privy Council of England and Ireland, under, or under 
colour and pretence of a law passed in 10 Henry 7, com- 
monly called Poyning's Law, are inimical to the constitu- 
tional rights of Ireland, and require immediate and effectual 

Resolved unanimously, That a Mutiny Bill, not limited 
in point of duration from Session to Session, is, or may be, 
a dangerous instrument in the hand of the executive power, 
and militates against the constitutional security of the 

Resolved unanimously, That as the fountain of justice 
is liable to taint and pollution, from the dependence of 
judges, which may gradually corrupt and overspread the 
body politic, the appointment of judges should be during 
good behaviour, which would infuse a new portion of vigour 
into the Constitution, and enable it to bear those infirmi- 
ties — if such there are — which elude a remedy. 

Resolved unanimously, That the virtuous few in both 
Houses of Parliament, who have uniformly supported th$ 

s 2 




great constitutional and commercial rights of Ireland, de- 
serve our warmest and most heartfelt thanks, which we 
request they may receive, as a testimony of our love and 
admiration for those worthies who spurn the corruption 
and venality of the times, and dare to tread the neglected 
path of public virtue. 

Resolved unanimously, That in the genuine spirit of 
liberty, sound policy, and toleration, we contemplate with 
peculiar satisfaction the relaxation of the penal laws against 
our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, for which we conceive the 
causes have long since ceased to operate, and joyfully hail 
the dawn of national prosperity, when Ireland, aided and 
invigorated by the united virtues of commercial, political, 
and religious freedom, shall raise her head among the 
nations, and reign the queen of arts and arms. 

Resolved unanimously, That as freeholders and electors, 
we have a right to an unbiassed choice of Representatives, 
and that the exigencies of the times call loudly for the 
honest exertion of this right ; we therefore pledge ourselves 
to each other, and to our country, that private friendship 
and connexion shall not influence our choice of Represen- 
tatives, at the ensuing election ; and that no candidate shall 
have our countenance and support, who does not solemnly 
engage to defend the rights of his country with unwearied 
effort, and faithfully adhere to the instructions of his con- 
stituents, from whose delegated power his senatorial power 
and consequence are solely derived. 

Resolved unanimously, That we are attached by every 
tie of interest and affection to England, our sister kingdom, 
are loyal to our gracious Sovereign, and devoted to the 
service of our country ; and that we will defend the King 
of Ireland, his crown and dignity, from every attempt of 
his natural enemies, with unshaken resolution, and with 



an animated glow of sentiment and spirit, which those only 
know and feel who have souls capable of venerating free- 
dom, and are determined to be free. 

W. H. Slator, Chairman. 


At a General Meeting of the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Free- 
holders of the County of Clare, convened by the High 
Sheriff at Ennis, on the 16th day of April, 1782, pursu- 
ant to Public Notice, the following resolutions were 
unanimously agreed to: — 

Resolved, That it appears to us to be absolutely necessary 
to declare, that no power on earth has any right to make 
laws to bind this kingdom, save the King, Lords, and Com- 
mons of Ireland. 

Resolved, That a claim of any body of men, other than 
the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland, to make laws to 
bind this kingdom, is unconstitutional, illegal, and a 

Resolved, That it is at this time absolutely necessary 
that the Irish Parliament should enact a law declaratory 
of their sole and exclusive right to make laws to bind 

Resolved, That the powers exercised by the Privy 
Council of both kingdoms, under, or under colour of, the 
law of Poyning, are unconstitutional, illegal, and a griev- 

Resolved, That we are determined to render the English 
claim of legislation in Ireland ineffectual, by every constitu- 
tional resistance. 

Resolved, That a Mutiny Bill, not limited in point of 
duration, is unconstitutional and a grievance. 

Resolved, That the ports of this country are by right 



[chap. XII. 

open to all foreign countries not at war with our sovereign, 
and that any restriction on our trade, or obstruction 
thereto, save only by the Parliament of Ireland, is illegal, 
unconstitutional, and a grievance. 

Resolved, That the independence of judges is essential 
to the impartial administration of justice in Ireland, and 
that the refusal or delay of this right, may excite jealousy 
and discontent, and is a grievance. 

Resolved, That the thanks of this meeting are due to 
those wise and virtuous men, who so firmly demanded, and 
so strenuously contended for, declarations of our rights, and 
redress of our grievances. 

Resolved, That to postpone or delay such declarations 
of our rights, and complete and satisfactory redress of our 
grievances, is in effect to deny the rights ; and to deny 
them, is basely to betray them. 

Resolved, That it is our unalterable determination to 
seek a redress of those grievances ; and we pledge our- 
selves to each other, and to our country, as Freeholders, 
Fellow-citizens, and Men of Honour, that we will at every 
ensuing election for our country, support those only, who 
will support us therein, and that we will use all consti- 
tutional means to make such our pursuit of redress, speedy 
and effectual. 

Poole Hickman, 
High Sheriff, and Chairman. 


At a Meeting of the Volunteer Corps of the City of Lon- 
donderry, held in the City Hall, the 21st day of May, 
1782, Captain Ferguson in the Chair; 

A letter from the Right Honourable the Earl of Bristol 
having been communicated to the meeting by the Chair- 



man, expressive of his Lordship's warm attachment to the 
Volunteers of Ireland in general, and the Corps of this 
City in particular, and stating his Lordship's intentions of 
aiding them in the purchase of camp equipage, or other 

Resolved unanimously, That the following address be 
subscribed by the Chairman, and transmitted to his 
Lordship : 

To the Right Honourable and Right Reverend the Earl of 
Bristol, Lord Bishop of Derry. 

My Lord, 

The liberal principles which mark your Lordship's charac- 
ter, in whatever point of view the public examine it, are 
universally acknowledged. We who have the honour of 
being particularly connected with your Lordship, as citi- 
zens and soldiers — we who have experienced your atten- 
tion, friendship, and munificence, would ill deserve this 
additional proof of your Lordship's attachment to our corps, 
did we not publicly express, how much we prize the 
sanction of a nobleman more estimable for his virtues, 
than dignified by birth and titles. 

Honoured by having the Earl of Bristol enrolled in our 
associations, we view his liberality as a testimony of appro- 
bation ; we reflect on his professions of esteem with grati- 
tude, and are thereby encouraged to a steady perseverance 
in that line of conduct, which has procured us such signal 
marks of distinction. 

Signed, by order, 
John Ferguson, Chairman. 




At a meeting of the Stradbally Horse, held on the 18th clay 
of April, 1782, Lieut.-col. Cosby, in the chair : 

It was unanimously resolved, That we do most cheer- 
fully accede to the truly virtuous and patriotic resolutions 
and address of the Ulster delegates, assembled at Dungan- 
non, on the 15th of February last, and that we will to the 
fullest extent, co-operate with them in every constitutional 
mode of obtaining the most speedy and effectual redress of 
those grievances they so judiciously point out. 

Resolved unanimously, That we feel the most perfect 
satisfaction at the relaxation of the severe laws against our 
Roman Catholic fellow-subjects. 

Thomas Cosby. 

At a meeting of delegates of 139 corps of volunteers, 
of the province of Leinster, at Dublin, April 17, 1782, 

Colonel Henri/ Flood, in the chair : 

Resolved unanimously, That we feel ourselves called 
on to declare our satisfaction in the unanimous desire of the 
House of Commons, expressed in favour of the rights of 
Ireland, in their address to the King yesterday, as amended 
by Colonel Grattan, and that we will support them with 
our lives and fortunes. 

Resolved unanimously, That the thanks of this meeting 
be given to Colonel Grattan, for his extraordinary exertions 
and perseverance in asserting the rights of Ireland. 

Resolved, That the following thirteen commanders of 
corps be appointed a standing committee of delegates from 



this province, to correspond and commune with all the 
other provincial committees or delegates of Ireland, to wit, 

Earl of Granard, 
Earl of Aldborough, 
Sir William Parson, 
Colonel Grattan, 
Colonel Talbot, 
Lieutenant-colonel Lee, 
Colonel Flood, 

Colonel Parnell, 
Captain R. Neville, 
Captain George, 
Colonel Burton, 
Colonel M. Lyons, 
Captain Smyth. 

Resolved, That an officer's guard from each corps 
of volunteers, in the city and county of Dublin, be mus- 
tered at Lord Charlemont's house in rotation, at 10 o'clock 
every morning. 

The addresses from the Irish Parliament on the 
Declaration of Right, having been forwarded to 
England to be laid before his Majesty, it was 
moved on the 4th of May, that the House should 
adjourn for three weeks, to await the reply. 

On this day, Mr. Grattan alluded to the 
address of the 16th of April, stating, that the 
country was committed to every part of the ad- 
dress, — the question of judicature, among others; 
and he submitted to the House, whether it would 
be necessary to resolve, that " that man was an 
enemy to his country, who would appeal to Eng- 
land by a writ of error." 

Mr. Fitzgibbon declared, that as the right of 
making laws for Ireland was in the King, Lords, 
and Commons of Ireland, this included the final 



judicature, and he hoped that no individual would 
hereafter appeal from the courts in Ireland to the 
British House of Lords. The Attorney-General, 
Mr. Scott, admitted the principle, and said, that 
he strove to palliate, postpone, and soothe, and to 
keep Ireland from acts of extremity, because he 
thought the question of right had been given up 
by England ; he had been misrepresented, but he 
was not surprised that a nation, eager and heated 
in the pursuit of a great and a favourite object, 
should have considered any person who differed 
from them as an object of public detestation; he 
had borne it patiently, and he did so without 
regret, because he ought not to have hastily de- 
clared that a number of English laws affecting an 
immense property here, and upon a great number 
of other momentous subjects, acquiesced in and 
obeyed for such a length of time, had no power 
to bind Ireland. Events had taken place since 
the last meeting of Parliament, that made it in- 
dispensable in him to declare his opinion now. 
The Bill proposed by Mr. Yelverton, supported 
by so many members of distinguished ability and 
virtue, which he entirely approved of, had not yet 
been returned from England ; the object of the 
Bill was, to secure the entire property, and to 
confirm other material topics, — the subject of the 
British laws ; and if that Bill was returned, there 
could be no objection to declare, that British laws 
were in future utterly inoperative ; and not being 


scott's SPEECH. 


returned, people have thought England insists 
upon that idle, useless, and pernicious power; 
he thought it therefore better, that the object of 
the British laws should be doomed to destruction, 
than that his country should be held in even a 
supposed state of absolute slavery; he therefore 
did as a lawyer, — a faithful servant of the crown, 
— a well-wisher to both countries, and an honest 
Irishman, — and in the most unqualified, unlimited, 
and explicit maimer, declare his opinion, that 
Great Britain has no right whatever to bind this 
country by any law. If the tenure of his office 
was to be the supporting opinions and doctrines 
injurious to the undoubted rights of Ireland, he 
held it to be an infamous tenure ; and if the Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain were determined to be the 
Lords of Ireland, he was determined not to be their 
villain in contributing to it, " I owe," said he, 
" the avowal of these sentiments to Great Britain, 
to my country, and to myself!" 

This very remarkable speech of the Attorney- 
General, accompanied by an earnest and solemn 
manner, showing not only the conviction of his 
mind, but his determination to uphold it, finally 
decided the point. Mr. Grattan, in consequence, 
declared that he would not press the motion, 
and the House adjourned to the 27th. 

To urge this matter still more, Mr. Grattan 
availed himself of an address from the Clanri- 
carde volunteers, to return them the following 



answer, which was very important at this par- 
ticular crisis : — 

To the Clanricarde Infantry. 

It gives me very particular pleasure in finding the answer 
to his Majesty's message so agreeable to the sense of the 
nation; and, as it contained nothing which was not essen- 
tial to our existence as freemen, so we have taken the 
liberty to commit this nation to every part of it, and pre- 
vious to the adjournment of last Saturday, the members of 
the House of Commons did solemnly pledge themselves, 
and their country, to the abolition of the following griev- 
ances, as contained in our answer : — Foreign Legislature, 
Foreign Judicature of any kind whatsoever, unconstitu- 
tional Powers of the Councils, and a Perpetual Mutiny 
Bill. Pledged against all and each of these grievances, we 
departed to return to Parliament in three weeks, with the 
same unalterable sentiments. 

We have great reliance on the justice of England, and 
the fair and honourable objects of her ministers; and 
therefore, without betraying any diffidence of them, have 
manifested that firmness in ourselves which shall not only 
make us free, but respectable ; for we do not supplicate for 
our rights as a favour, even when ive are stating them to an 
amicable Government. 

I return you my very sincere thanks for electing me to 
be a member of that body whose spirit I have long ad- 
mired, and glory to participate. 

I am, Gentlemen, 
With great admiration of your firmness and principles, 
Your most humble servant, 

Henry Grattan. 



Mr. Grattan also addressed to Mr. Fox and his 
friend Day the two following letters, communi- 
cating to the former the course he had taken in 
regard to the final judicature. 


May 6, 1782. 


I had the honour of receiving your letter of the 27th. I 
did not, and could not expect, any direct opinion ; but 
being convinced that your opinion would be deliberate, I 
thought it my duty to administer every information in my 
power. Upon the same principle I now trouble you once 
more with an account of what passed in the House of 
Commons last Saturday, from whence you will collect the 
sense of this country on the subject of the address. I men- 
tioned that as an adjournment for a considerable period 
was that day to take place, it was necessary to allude to 
the present promising but anxious state of this country ; 
that I considered this kingdom committed to every part of 
the address ; that I conceived the Writ of Error to England, 
as well as the appeal to the Lords of Great Britain, one of 
those requisites in which, as in all the others, we were 
pledged, life and fortune ; and that I was in the breast of 
the House, whether I should at that instant move, " that 
any man who should henceforth appeal to England, in 
cases of law and equity, was an enemy to his country." I 
added that, inasmuch as we had the Writ of Error and 
Appeal to the Lords totally dependent on ourselves, the 
operation of which we could stop by a vote of Parliament, 
and other means, that, in fact, we asked nothing of Eng- 
land but to withdraw claims which she could not execute ; 
therefore there could be no negociation, for we could not 


consent, either to yield rights, or purchase them. The 
Members rose in order, and solemnly declared that they 
conceived themselves committed, life and fortune, to all the 
propositions I have stated ; judicature in law, as well as 
equity, &c. &c. ; that they could not cede, and that any 
man who brought from henceforth an Appeal or Writ of 
Error to England, should be voted an enemy to his country, 
and the execution of the English sentence resisted. This 
vote, they conceived, therefore, should not now pass, but 
should be suspended. 

My country has been much misunderstood, if it is 
thought she has asked for any thing which she cannot 
give herself. 

I do most entirely agree in wishing a settlement, which 
shall give satisfaction to both countries ; but must add, that 
nothing less than what has been stated, will give satisfaction 
to Ireland. You are pleased to speak of your own feelings. 
I have a very high opinion of them, and a great confidence in 
the manly reach of your capacity ; but when I wrote, I did not 
presume to extract from you your opinions, but to state 
mine, which are material to the deliberation of the English 
Cabinet, because they concur with the settled sense of the 
Irish nation. No foreign legislature, nor foreign judica- 
ture, nor legislative council, nor independent army, nor 
negotiation, nor commissioners, to settle these matters t I 
stated these opinions in my former letter to you, as to the 
first man in England; had I known of one higher in situa- 
tion, stationed as I am in Ireland, I should have applied to 
him. I believe it is more regular to address a Secretary of 
State, through the medium of the Castle. I entirely ap- 
prove of the rule, but do not hold myself bound to ob- 
serve it. 

I understand it is wished our demands should be as 
specific as possible; they are so: — A withdrawal of the claim 



of supremacy, legislative and jurisdictive, by England ; an 
Act to confirm titles, held under British decrees or judg 
ment, and to secure an exclusive jurisdiction to this realm, 
by Ireland ; a modification of Poyning's Law, and a new 
Mutiny Bill. 

I have the honour to be, 

Your very obedient humble servant, 

Henry Grattan. 


May 11, 1782. 

My dear Day, 
I have only time to say that if nothing is concluded before 
our meeting, the 26th, we must proceed as if refused; 
protraction is inadmissible. Mention this, as it is of the 
last consequence. 

Henry Grattan. 

This laconic but expressive letter is one of the 
most important that appears in the transactions 
of this period. The words, " We must proceed 
as if refused," and addressed to his friend, 
were sufficiently intelligible, and partook of the 
firm and resolute character of their author; they 
were also in perfect unison with the recorded 
declarations of the volunteers, and with the spirit 
of their leaders, backed by 100,000 men, with 
200 pieces of cannon, headed by the nobility and 
aristocracy of the nation, and opposed (in the 
event of a collision) by only 5,000 regular troops. 
Each party now stood on the verge of a fearful 




conflict. No pains, no sacrifice had been spared 
by the people ; all were fully prepared, and only 
waited for the signal of their leaders. If the ad- 
dress of the 16th of April had met with rejection, 
the nations would have been committed, and to 
this Mr. Day refers in his letter of May,* 1838, 
where he says, " Mr. Grattan was resolved to 
assist, even by arms, if driven to it, the liberties of 
Ireland. Most fortunately, the olive branch was 
held out, and wisdom and prudence prevailed." 

The following letter, however, from the Duke of 
Portland to Mr. Fox, will show how wise it was 
in Mr. Grattan to have kept clear of the court, 
and what a risk the country ran of being involved 
in a negociation which would have created distrust, 
and possibly might have ended in disappointment. 

{Private mid confidential.) 

Dublin Castle, April 28, 1782. 

My dear Sir, 
I have written so fully to Lord Shelburne, that it is almost 
unnecessary to trouble you on the same subject ; but, as I 
conceive somewhat better hopes than what I could venture 
to express to Lord Shelburne, and as I know that that cir- 
cumstance will not induce you or some of you to delay or 
haggle, I may own to you that I do not believe the people 
of this country inexorable, or determined to reject all idea 
of treaty. I do not mean to say that some preliminaries 
must not be granted before the negociation takes place, 

* Vol. I. p. 118. 




because I am convinced they will not listen to any propo- 
sitions, until the independence of their legislature is pro 
mised, and the necessary (for so it appears to me, as an 
Englishman,) alteration of their Mutiny Bill is agreed to. 
Those two points ceded, and an engagement on your part 
to enter into a fair discussion, for the purpose of settling 
the judicature and Poyning's Law, would, I believe, com- 
pose the spirits, and incline them to adopt measures and 
modes of treating, without which I do not see the possibi- 
lity of settling the business. I foresee very considerable 
difficulty in drawing the line of that independence, which 
I advised to be conceded ; and for which they so earnestly 
contend : and, I must add, the embarrassment will increase 
every day the question is left open; but I am sanguine to 
hope that the appearance of the sincerity which I am sure 
our friends possess, would go a great way in removing the 
difficulties which that state of suspense tends daily to 

Fitzpatrick has sent you as regular information as the 
wind would permit, but without being on the spot. I will 
venture to say that no man can judge of or foresee the 
variations, or rather advancements in the demands and ex- 
pectations, which frequently occur to us. I am more san- 
guine than he is inclined to be, and expect more from the 
two concessions I recommend to be speedily made, than he 
thinks me authorised or entitled to hope for. I foresee 
great difficulties on your side in consenting, and on this in 
any thing less than the immediate repeal of the 6th of 
George I. Yet I would not despair of some middle term 
being thought of ichich would answer the purpose, if I was 
instructed to show them that the independence of their le- 
gislature would certainly be conceded, that is, supported 
in Parliament by the present Ministry. 

I had some conversation with Grattan upon the mode. 




[chap. XII. 

He was very reasonable, and professed the strongest dis- 
position to accommodate, saying, that his reason for pre- 
ferring the address to resolutions was, that he thought the 
Parliament of Ireland less pledged to adherence by the one 
than by the other. He also insisted upon the necessity of 
any concession on the part of England being considered 
here as matter of favour; that it was the duty of this 
country to consult our honest pride; and that if the language 
did not afford words that would reconcile our feelings to 
the measures we might think proper to adopt in the pre- 
sent crisis, words should be made for the purpose. He 
suggested, that the preamble of the Act for granting the 
independence of the Irish Legislature (not absolutely in- 
sisting on the repeal of George I., but certainly not point- 
ing out any mode by way of substitution,) might run, — 
" Whereas it is rightful" — conceiving that the ambiguous 
sense of that word might gratify the feelings of the two 
countries. Our conference was interrupted by a foolish 
ceremony, that could not be avoided ; and I have not seen 
him since till the levee of to-day, when I desired an early 
opportunity of renewing the discourse, to which he readily 
assented. I have given you an exact account of the con- 
versations which have given rise to my expectations. Fitz- 
patrick thinks they go too far, but I leave you and our own 
friends to draw their own inferences. I should, myself, 
be fearful of their effect elsewhere. I cannot conclude 
this letter, without expressing my most anxious wishes for 
a speedy and favourable determination. There is still an 
appearance of Government; but if you delay or refuse to 
be liberal, Government cannot exist here in its present 
form ; and the sooner you recal your Lieutenant, and re- 
nounce all claim to this country, the better. But, on the 
contrary, if you can bring your minds to concede largely 
and handsomely, I am persuaded, that you may make any 




use of this people, and of every thing that they are worth, 
that you can wish ; and, in such a moment, it will be 
happy for them, that the Government of England shall be 
in hands that will not take undue advantage of their in- 

Ever most sincerely yours, 


The account given by the Minister in the de- 
bate in the English House, (on the 22nd of Feb., 
1785,) elucidates the statements already given. 
On that occasion Mr. Fitzpatrick corrected the 
assertion of Mr. Dundas, that the resolutions of 
17S2 had been proposed to the Irish Parliament 
by the Government, before Mr. Fox had proposed 
the subject to the English House. He gave an 
authentic narrative of the proceedings of that pe- 
riod, and the part that Mr. Grattan took on the 
occasion; he stated, that an address to the Crown, 
which formed the ground of the resolutions of 
1782, had been proposed in the Irish Parliament, 
when there might be said to be no existing 
Government in Ireland; — that though Secretary, 
he had no seat in Parliament; and that no one, 
connected with the Lord Lieutenant, proposed or 
supported it; it could not be deemed the act of 
the Minister, but the result of a private motion, 
which no influence of a Minister could have pre- 
vented ; and, accordingly, Mr. Fitzpatrick wrote 
to Mr. Grattan on the subject, as follows :— 

t 2 




Grosvenor Place, London, March 10, 1785. 
Dear Sir, 

I trust you will excuse my troubling you with a letter 
upon a subject, highly interesting to me, because the mis- 
representation of it may tend to prejudice me with you, 
and several of your friends, whose good opinion, if I was 
fortunate enough to obtain during my short residence in 
Ireland, I value too much, not to be extremely anxious to 

From a printed account of a debate in your House of 
Commons, it appears, that Mr. Fitzgibbon adduced as a 
proof of the ira-authenticity of a newspaper report of a 
debate in the House of Commons of England, my being 
there, and stated to have disclaimed measures, which I could 
not have done consistently with the truth. What account 
Mr. Fitzgibbon may have alluded to, I cannot know ; and 
I know too well the fallibility of all newspaper authorities, 
both here and in Ireland, to rely much upon their ac- 
curacy ; as you, however, are the best authority possible 
upon the subject in question, I will just state what did 
pass in our House of Commons upon the matter alluded 
to, and am satisfied that you will recollect my statement 
of it to have been perfectly correct. 

It is not to be supposed, that the peculiar circumstances 
of the times referred to, considering the distinguished part 
you took in them, and the great credit you justly acquired 
by your public conduct, should not have left upon your 
mind the most precise recollection of all the particulars 
relating to them. I need hardly therefore remind you, 
that the Duke of Portland's arrival in Ireland was two 
days only previous to the meeting of the Irish Parliament, 


on the 16th of April, 1782. Although, from the high 
respect his Grace and myself entertained for your public 
character, I anxiously wished for an interview with you, 
upon ray first arrival, you will certainly remember, that 
from motives of delicacy you declined any such interview, 
until the House of Commons should have decided upon 
measures in which you conceived the public welfare to be 
interested. Whatever communication there was between us, 
was therefore carried on, through the means of our com- 
mon friend, Sheridan ; and I take it for granted, that you 
were by him apprized, that the Duke of Portland's wish 
would have been, to have obtained a short adjournment 
of the House, for the purpose of entering calmly into the 
discussion of the important subjects, about to be agitated 
between the two kingdoms. You positively refused your 
assent to any such proposal ; and, on the 16th, when the 
House met, you moved your Address, stating all the claims 
of Ireland, which passed the House unanimously. 

By recurring to the journals of the House, however, 
it will appear, that in answer to the message sent to 
Parliament by the Lord Lieutenant, an address was first 
moved by Mr. Ponsonby, " thanking his Majesty" for his 
gracious message, and assuring him, that his faithful 
Commons would immediately proceed upon the great 
object he had recommended to their consideration. This 
address was superseded by one moved by yourself; but 
the moving it originally, and that by Mr. Ponsonby, (the 
nearest connexion the Duke of Portland then had in the 
House, his Secretary having no seat in it at that time) 
was a sufficient indication, that, however the Lord Lieu- 
tenant might think it expedient to acquiesce in the 
general sense of the House, and afterwards to recommend 
to the King's ministers the adoption of all the principles 
contained in the address moved by you, he did not think 



fit, at that juncture, that the address of the 16th of April, 
1782, should bear any marks of being a measure, on that 
day, receiving the support of the newly-appointed adminis- 
tration of Ireland. I do not believe, indeed, that you 
would be inclined to allow us any share of that honour 
which you so deservedly obtained, by your manly and public- 
spirited exertions at that memorable period. Having men- 
tioned these circumstances, which, I doubt not, are still 
fresh in your recollection, I will state to you how, and in 
what manner, I had occasion to refer to them in the House 
of Commons of England. 

Mr. Fox, having condemned the manner in which the 
present negotiations between England and Ireland were 
commenced,* by the first discussion and decision of them 
having been submitted to the Parliament of Ireland, was 
answered, that the conduct of the administration, of which 
he was a member, had, in the settlement of the then 
subsisting disputes, been precisely similar ; and that the 
settlement of them, at that time, had its first discussion in 
Parliament. This I thought myself bound to contradict, 
and to state to the House, that, although the subject had 
been first agitated in the Parliament of Ireland, it had not 
been so by the concurrence, or with the participation, of 
the then Government ; and that the acquiescence of the 
administration of Ireland, in the discussion of those mat- 
ters, under all the circumstances of the times, did not 
argue, either in the administration of Ireland or of Eng- 
land, an approbation of the Irish Parliament's taking the 
lead in the measures proposed for the adjustment of the 
differences subsisting between the two countries. Had the 
charge been founded, I confess, I do not see the applica- 
tion of it; as the circumstances of the adjustment of 1782, 

* Those on the commercial propositions. 



and that now, I am afraid, unfortunately attempted, are 
totally dissimilar. I have, however, no doubt, that you will 
agree with me, from the particulars above stated, that I 
was fully and completely authorized in my assertion. I 
must entreat your forgiveness, for giving you this trouble, 
which has proceeded only from an anxiety to stand well 
in the opinion of a person whose character I do sincerely 

If Mr. Fitzgibbon, who cannot have spoken with much 
authority upon matters in which he was no degree con- 
sulted, has controverted the truth of the fact I asserted in 
the House of Commons of England, I should esteem it as 
a particular favour, if, upon any future opportunity, you 
would justify what I said by your testimony, which is the 
best possible upon the subject. I am perfectly sensible of 
the difficulty, or rather impossibility, of clearing up all 
matters which may in different newspapers be reported to 
have passed in the respective Parliaments of the countries, 
and which, under the present circumstances, must fre- 
quently occasion misunderstandings, and perhaps mis- 
chievous consequences ; but as this seems to relate only to 
a matter of fact, the truth of which you only can authorita- 
tively confirm, and as I have no reason to suppose that Mr. 
Fitzgibbon could possibly have a wish to mis-state or mis- 
represent any thing I may be supposed to have said, I trust 
you will not think I have trespassed upon that attention with 
which you honoured me when in Ireland, and which I shall 
always be proud to remember, in requesting this favour 
from you. 

I shall not trouble you with any opinion of mine upon 
the present critical circumstances of the two kingdoms. I 
hoped, I confess, in conjunction with you and your friends, 
to have been an humble instrument in preventing any 
possible future disputes between them ; and however the 


respective interests of the countries may lead to a difference 
of opinion between us, by the rashness and precipitation 
with which this matter has been brought forward, I flatter 
myself you will do those, with whom I have the honour to 
act, the justice, which I know they most sincerely do you, 
of believing them actuated by real and unfeigned solici- 
tude for the public welfare. Let me once more entreat your 
forgiveness for the intrusion, and beg you to convey my 
best compliments to the worthy Lord Chief Baron, Mr. 
Forbes, Sheridan, and Doyle ; and believe me, dear Sir, 
With most sincere respect and esteem, 

Your most faithful, obedient, and humble servant, 


From this letter, it is clear that the proposition 
which Mr. Grattan made was not made in con- 
cert with the Government ; nor does it appear 
there was any great confidence reposed in the 
Duke of Portland. Not that Lord Charlemont 
and Mr. Grattan could not safely have done so, 
but that they did not stand in need of it ; and they 
did not adopt the measures of the Government, or 
confide to them their own. It seems, however, that 
perfect confidence was placed in Mr. Fox ; but 
they kept clear of the court, as the court was 
anxious for delay, and might have detached the 

Mr. Grattan, though strongly urged by Charles 
Sheridan, thought it better not to hold any inter- 
course with the Castle. He therefore pretended 
he had gone to the country. It was this line of 




conduct that placed Lord Charlemont and him so 
high, and got them so much credit with the peo- 
ple, who, if they are prone to suspect, are also 
quick to discern ; and in this instance they ob- 
served the conduct of their leaders, they pene- 
trated their motives, and gave them full credit for 
honesty and discretion. 

It happened that these individuals not only 
achieved the national object, but achieved it in the 
best manner. Had they acted otherwise, they would 
have acted wrong. The great merit in the business 
was in the way in which it was accomplished. A Bill 
of Rights was unnecessary ; for it could only have 
been a reetition of their address, their resolutions, 
and their protest. Besides, Ireland was not re- 
ceiving rights ; she was not acquiring a new power, 
but one that her charters and her constitution gave. 
Negociation would not have answered ; for each of 
the two countries had a legislature, and but one 
executive ; and it would have been novel to have 
acted by commissioners. 

Throughout the entire proceeding Mr. Fitz- 
patrick was perfectly sincere : that was his charac- 
ter. He was open and honest, and by no means a 
weak adviser ; his councils were bold, and there 
was nothing like timidity in his composition. It 
was this that made Mr. Flood apply to him and to 
the Duke of Portland the terms he used when he 
said that " they were desperate gamblers; that 



[chap. XII. 

they hazarded every thing on a throw and kept no 

Mr. Hardy, in his life of Lord Charlemont, ex- 
plains that passage in the Marquis of Rocking- 
ham's letter, "that in the new state in which 
England and Ireland now stand, there are matters 
that may want adjustment ;" — these, Mr. Hardy 
states, Lord Charlemont understood to refer to 
arrangements respecting commerce ; and in this 
opinion, it is certain that Mr. Grattan perfectly 

Sir Jonah Barrington, like Mr. Flood, was also 
mistaken when he applied to that party the charge 
of insincerity. So far from this being the case, it 
was a most fortunate circumstance for the people of 
Ireland, and for their leaders, that they had to deal 
with such individuals, and in particular with such a 
character as Mr. Fox, who, throughout, was per- 
fectly sincere. Endowed with a great reach of 
understanding, and a magnanimity of sentiment, 
he not only thought and uttered noble principles, 
but he would lecture the insolence of power with 
the dignity of an adviser, and possessed a sense 
and courage that did not stoop to grasp at tyranny, 
but could part from it at once and for ever. His 
fine disposition and his generous character would 
not stop at little things, but whatever he did he 
would do graciously. Mr. Fox yielded nobly, 
and in a manner that did honour to the British 




character. Had he delayed or negociated, his 
successor, Mr. Pitt, would have clogged the mea- 
sure, or accompanied it with attributes that would 
have destroyed its grace altogether. Mr. Fox 
was one of the few ministers who upheld the 
character of Great Britain in all her transactions 
with Ireland ; he did it with the dignity that 
belonged to that nation and to her fame. Other 
ministers trifled with her name ; some used it 
as a means to terrify, others as an instrument 
of tyranny, and others, again, lowered and de- 
graded it ; but Mr. Fox preserved it in all its 
purity, its power, its honour, and its integrity, 
imparting with a grace the quality of its blessings, 
and dignifying alike those who gave and those 
who received. 



TFhe Duke of Portland defended from the charge of insincerity. — Mr. 
Ogilvie and the Union. — That idea solely attributable to him. — Corre- 
spondence on the subject. — Use made of the matter in 1799 by Mr. 
Pitt. — General Fitzpatrick's explanation to Mr. Grattan. — Mr. Fox 
moves the repeal of the 6th of Geo. I.- — Debate on the motion, 
which passes. — Proceedings in the Irish Parliament in consequence. — 
Mr. Grattan moves an address to the King. — Universal satisfaction of 
Ireland at the late proceedings. — Mr. Beauchamp Bagenal. — His 
character. — Grant of 50,000/. to Mr. Grattan. — Resolution of the 

The only charge which was ever brought against 
the Duke of Portland as to his sincerity, was that 
which arose from the conversations which he was 
said to have had with Mr. Ogilvie, on the subject of 
a union between the two countries. This, however, 
is capable of being explained. It happened that 
Mr. Ogilvie, who was connected with the Leinster 
family, and at that time in Parliament, but of no 
other influence, had applied to Lord Charlemont 
upon this subject, which was but the chimera of his 
own brain. The kindness of Lord Charlemont had 
induced him to reply to questions which never 
should have been put, and which merited no 




answer. He, and he alone, mentioned the subject 
in private, and had a sort of blind meddling com- 
munication upon it with the Lord Lieutenant. But 
it was not even broached in public, nor would 
Mr. Ogilvie have dared to mention the subject 
there. Full of his own importance, he strove to 
make the Duke believe that he had made an im- 
pression on Lord Charlemont. The weakness of 
the Duke readily gave in to this supposition, and 
served to show not that he was insincere, which 
was afterwards charged against him, but that he 
was only weak, which his after conduct in 1795 
unfortunately exemplified. In fact, neither Mr. 
Fox nor the English Government had any thing 
to say to the chimerical idea, which was barely con- 
ceived, never reduced to form, which would not 
have been listened to if openly mentioned, and 
which was solely attributable to the folly and 
intermeddling of Mr. Ogilvie. 

In the discussion on the Union in 1799, Mr. Pitt, 
however, urged the point, in order to show that 
the proceedings in 1782 were not final, and that 
even then a union was meditated. But his state- 
ment was neither fair nor just; for he attributed 
to the question of right that which related to the 
question of trade. Ireland had settled the ques- 
tion of independent legislature, just as England 
had her Magna Charta, or the principles of her 
revolution of 1688; but matters of commerce were 
those that might have admitted of regulation, and 



were those referred to in the resolutions of par- 
liament, and distinctly stated in the letter of the 
Duke of Portland. But a disingenuous mind, or 
a skilful minister, can easily pervert the plainest 
terms, and misinterpret an honest transaction ; and 
thus the dexterity of Mr. Pitt applied the reso- 
lution, not to the subject of commerce, but to that 
of the constitution. 

The correspondence he then referred to, is here 
inserted, together with the explanation given by 
General Fitzpatrick, who was secretary at the 
time, and was privy to the whole of the pro- 


Dublin Castle, 6th May, 1782. 

My Lord, 

The confidence I find reposed in me is certainly extremely 
flattering ; I will meet it as it deserves, by continuing to 
write without any reserve. 

Under the impression of the unavoidable necessity of 
conceding all the points required, for the sake of deriving 
any real advantage from the possession of this country, I 
do recommend that positive assurances be given, that the 
alteration of the Mutiny Bill, and the modification of 
Poyning's law, shall be conceded to them in the form re- 
quired by their address ; that the 6th of George I. shall be 
repealed, and that writs of error shall no longer be received 
by our Court of King's Bench ; but that, as Great Britain, 
by these concessions, is desirous not only of satisfying the 
expectations of the Irish upon all constitutional points, but 
of preventing every possible source of future jealousy and 



discontent, she does not doubt of receiving an unequivocal 
testimony of a corresponding disposition on the part of 
Ireland, and is persuaded that the parliament of this 
country will co-operate in the most effectual method, 
either with the king's confidential servants, or with com- 
missioners appointed by the parliament of Great Britain, 
or through the medium of the chief governor of the king;- 
dom, to settle the precise limits of that independence which 
is required, the consideration that should be given for the 
protection expected, and the share it would be proper for 
them to contribute towards the general support of the 
empire, in pursuance of the declaration contained in the 
concluding paragraph of their own address. The regulation 
of their trade is a subject which, I think, would very pro- 
perly make a part of the treaty, and which, from the dis- 
satisfaction expressed by many commercial persons at the 
delusive advantages of the free trade, would be a very fit 
and necessary subject for discussion. I need not inform 
your Lordship that they will find precedents in the first 
volume of the journals of their own House of Commons, of 
committees or agents being sent to England to represent 
their grievances and obtain redress.* 

As every letter your Lordship has received from me has 
progressively renewed the hopes I first held out to you, it 
will be natural for you to expect that 1 should assign a 
reason for supposing that the plan which I have submitted 
to you will accomplish the event we desire. All I can say 
is, that, in my apprehension, it ought to accomplish that 
event. In my apprehension, proposals, such as I have 
stated, cannot be resisted in parliament with any effect. 
They so directly correspond with the wishes of the public, 
that I conceive that no artifice could induce them to sup- 

* See Appendix to Vol. I. 


port an opposition to them ; the refusal to accede to them, 
or to appoint commissioners for a final adjustment, on the 
grounds of their own address, when they should be assured 
that persons were properly authorized for that purpose, 
would be such an indication of sinister designs as would 
warrant your directions to me to throw up the government, 
and to leave them to that fate which their folly and treach- 
ery should deserve. If such should be the sentiments of 
the king's servants, after using every endeavour to bring 
them to a true sense of their condition, and of the conse- 
quences of such a refusal, I should hesitate as little to 
order the yacht, and to leave them to be the victims of 
their own insanity, as I should to say that it would be 
useless to attempt to coerce them, and that the country 
upon such terms would not be ivorth possessing. 

Suffer me, my Lord, once more to repeat my most earnest 
instances for a speedy determination. There are passages 
in the two last letters I had the honour of receiving from 
you which make me think that there is little or no differ- 
ence in our opinions upon this unhappy subject ; and let 
me add, that unless a negociation can be entered into with 
persons properly authorized by the parliament of this 
country, and that the object is to go fairly to the bottom of 
the business, and to form a new system of relation between 
the two countries, upon the basis of their mutual interests, 
the character of the present administration will be lost, 
and the English government must be prepared to renounce 
all pretensions to respect or influence in this country. 

I am, &c. &c. 
(Signed) Portland. 




Dublin Castle, Sunday Morning, 26th May, 1 782 . 

I should be very glad to hear that Lord Charlemont was 
inclined to accede to any part, or even to the idea, of such 
a plan as you have been so obliging as to communicate to 
me. I should consider it as a material step to that situ- 
ation in which I am sure it is the interest of both kingdoms 
to be placed ; being convinced, that whatever is most like a 
Union, is the most probable bond of connection to restore 
and perpetuace the harmony and prosperity of the two 

I am, with great respect and regard, 

Sir, your most obedient humble servant, 

(Signed) Portland. 


Wimbledon, 25th May, 1782. 
The essential points on the part of Ireland now acceded 
to, will, I trust, establish a perfect cordiality between the 
two countries ; and as there can no longer exist any grounds 
of contest or jealousy on matters of right between the 
countries, the only object of both will be, how finally to 
arrange, settle, and adjust all matters, whereby the Union 

PROCAL advantage, may be best permanently Jixed. 

I observe, in Lord Shelburne's letter to your Grace, 
dated the 18th of May, he states more reluctance to the 
idea of commissioners than I should judge to be a general 
opinion of His Majesty's servants. The measure may be a 
VOL. II. u 



doubtful one ; but if it appeared to be the inclination 
among the leading gentlemen of Ireland, I should think 
good would ensue. 


Dublin Castle, 5th June, 1782. 
I have now stated to your Lordship every matter that I can 
think likely to come before parliament, and have farther to 
add, that the desire which is generally and emphatically 
expressed for a speedy conclusion of the session, will very 
forcibly tend to unite gentlemen in discountenancing any 
attempt to bring on questions of any sort at this season of 
the year. I presume your Lordship will be of opinion that 
it is not desirable to oppose the wishes of this country 
respecting as early a prorogation as the business before 
them will admit. Nor, indeed, am I disinclined to recom- 
mend it ; for the passions of this nation do not appear to 
me as yet to have sufficiently subsided, to let the gratitude 
which is felt, pass quietly and confidentially through that 
channel which can alone direct it to the reciprocal advan- 
tages of both kingdoms. 

There is no doubt of government being able to stop any 
mischief ; but I cannot so readily take upon me to answer 
for the immediate attainment of the benefits which the 
liberality of Great Britain entitles her to expect. Unless, 
therefore, one very great measure, which I will make the 
subject of a separate letter, can be obtained, I submit to 
your Lordship the propriety of coinciding in the wishes 
of the parliament, by putting an end to the present 
session, as soon as may be after the return of the bills from 




Dublin Castle, 6th June, 1782. 

My Lord, 

The measure which I stated to your Lordship, in my letter 
oflast night, as a sufficient inducement for deferring the 
prorogation of parliament, is of so delicate a nature, and 
requires so much secrecy and management, that I think it 
unadvisable to trust the communication of it to any hand 
hut my own ; and as it is possible that the event may not 
justify the hopes I entertain, it would, perhaps, be more 
prudent to withhold the intelligence which I am now 
about to give you, until I could transmit the plan, properly 
authenticated, for the consideration of your Lordship, and 
the rest of the K — 's confidential servants. However, as I 
feel that I have a right to take credit for my endeavours, 
and that the ministers in England equally partake of my 
responsibility in the administration of the affairs of this 
country, I am as anxious that they should share any merit 
that can be derived from our joint conduct, as that they 
should be liable to any blame to which the adoption of ill- 
advised or inconsiderate measures may expose them. I 
shall therefore acquaint your Lordship, that I have reason 
to hope that I may be shortly enabled to lay before you 
the sketch or outlines of an Act of Parliament, to be 
adopted by the legislatures of the respective kingdoms ; 
by which the superintending power and supremacy of 
Great Britain, in all matters of state and general commerce, 
ivill be virtually and effectually acknowledged; that a 
share of the expence, in carrying on a defensive or offen- 
sive war, either in support of our own dominions, or those 
of our allies, shall be borne by Ireland in proportion to the 

u 2 



actual state of her abilities ; and that she will adopt every 
such regulation as may be judged necessary by Great 
Britain for the better ordering and securing her trade and 
commerce with foreign nations, or her own colonies and 
dependencies, consideration being duly had to the circum- 
stances of this country. I am flattered with the expecta- 
tion of receiving the most positive assurances from • 

of their support in 

carrying such a bill through both Houses of Parliament ; 
and in case such an object could be obtained, I should 
presume that it would be very advisable to trespass upon 
the patience of this country to bring it to perfection, even 
in the present moment. Your Lordship may depend upon 
the earliest account of my success and progress in this 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Shelburne House, Sunday, June 9. 
My Lord, 12 o'clock at noon. 

In the very instant of the departure of the messenger with 
the dispatches accompanying this letter, I have the honour 
to receive your Grace's of the 5th and 6th. 

The contents of the letter are too important to hesitate 
about detaining him, while I assure your Grace of the 
satisfaction I know your letter will give the King. I have 
lived in the most anxious expectation of some such mea- 
sure offering itself. Nothing prevented my pressing it in 
this dispatch, except, having repeatedly stated the just ex- 
pectations of this country, I was apprehensive of giving 
that the air of demand which would be better left to a 
spirit of voluntary justice, gratitude, and foresight. I gave 




your Grace confidence for watching the temper of those 
you had to deal with, and cannot express the pleasure it 
gives me to find that confidence justified. Bargains and 
compacts may accomplish little objects— great ends must 
be obtained by a nobler and more generous policy. No 
matter who has the merit, let the two kingdoms be one ; 
which can only be by Ireland now acknowledging the 
superintending power and supremacy to be where Nature 
has placed it, in precise and unambiguous terms. I am 
sure I need not inculcate to your Grace the importance of 
words, in an act which must decide on the happiness of 
ages, particularly in what regards contribution and trade — 
subjects most likely to come into frequent question. Your 
Grace will have every merit I can give you. 1 have only 
to assure your Grace of every support necessary to carry 
this measure, and of the most confidential return to every 
communication you think the public service may require. 

I entirely agree in your Grace's reasons for putting as 
speedy an end as possible to the present session, unless the 
measure you have in contemplation can be obtained. 

The King is at Windsor, and every one else out of town ; 
I therefore only write the sentiments of 

Your Grace's faithful servant, 


the duke of portland to the earl of shelburne. 

Dublin Castle, June 22, 1782. 
TJie disappointment and mortification I suffer by the 
unexpected change in those dispositions which had autho- 
rized me to entertain the hopes I had, perhaps too san- 
guinely, expressed, in the letter which I had the honour of 
writing to your Lordship the 6th instant, must not prevent 



my acquainting you, that for the present those expectations 
must be given up. I trust, and am inclined to flatter 
myself, they are only suspended, and that they will be 
revived when the temper of this country shall have reco- 
vered its tone, and acquired that degree of composure 
which must give it the firmness necessary for effectuating 
so wise and salutary a measure. Mr. Fitzpatrick will have 
informed your Lordship of some very unpleasant circum- 
stances which were likely to have happened a very few 
days before the adjournment, the traces of which are 
strongly marked in the Address from the Leinster Volun- 
teers, which I have this day the honour of transmitting to 
you, but which, I think, are to be attributed to a suspicion 
of the possible effect of a negotiation. By the account of 
the event of those three or four days, and of the timidity 
and jealousy of the first people in this country, it is clear 
to my apprehension, that any injudicious or offensive mea- 
sure may be prevented, but that any attempts to conciliate 
the minds of this nation to any such measure as I inti- 
mated the hope of would at this moment be delusive and 

These letters show the Duke of Portland to 
have been a very weak though a very good man. 
His idea that " some middle term" could be adopted, 
was preposterous in the extreme ; and he must 
have been a shallow observer of human events and 
human character if he imagined that a nation so 
strong as Ireland then was, both in arms and in 
justice, so patient of wrong, so careful not to trans- 
gress the law, though so often on the verge of it, 
would, after four years of military discipline and 



suspended hostility, have now accepted "some 
middle term," and assented to any thing less than 
the whole of her rightful demand ; still less could 
it be credited that the nation would have assented 
to the recognition of the superintending power and 
supremacy of Great Britain, at the precise moment 
that she denied her legislative and jurisdictive 
authority over Ireland in all cases whatsoever. 

In consequence of the production of the fore- 
going letters in the House of Commons, and the 
use made of them by Mr. Pitt, establishing in 
appearance a case of manifest duplicity, or at least 
of gross insincerity, on the part of the British 
Cabinet, and of the Duke of Portland, — who would 
thereby have appeared as endeavouring to destroy 
the rights and the constitution of the country at 
the moment they were regained, — General Fitz- 
patrick wrote to Mr. Grattan in vindication of 
his character, and his letter explains the transac- 
tion. Though transposed in point of date it is 
necessary to introduce it in this place. 


London, Jan. 28, 1800. 

Dear Sir, 

It gave me great pleasure to learn from the public papers 
that you had determined to resume your seat in Parliament, 
both because I hoped it implied the re-establishment of 
your health, and because I felt how much it became your 
public character to make an effort in defence of the inde- 
pendent legislature of Ireland, to the acquisition and 



establishment of which you had yourself, so far beyond all 
other persons, contributed. 

My reason for my troubling you with this letter is, that 
in your future debates upon this question, vital to the ex- 
istence of the liberties of Ireland, reference may possibly 
be made to the official correspondence of the Duke of 
Portland, produced last year in the British House of Com- 
mons by Mr. Pitt, — I know not for what purpose, excepting 
that of exposing the weakness and duplicity of his conduct ; 
and with all the circumstances relating to which you are, 
in all probability, acquainted. It was in answer to my posi- 
tive assertion, that no further measure was in contempla- 
tion subsequent to the concessions of 1782, under the 
Lieutenancy of the Duke of Portland, that Mr. Pitt 
brought forward these papers; they certainly show that 
the concessions on the part of Great Britain were of greater 
extent than the Administration of that day thought advis- 
able, but they at the same time shew that they did not 
think them more than good policy authorized the acced- 
ing to, for the purpose of securing a complete reconcilia- 
tion, and cordial and permanent affection, between the 
sister kingdoms. I must confess I was not a little as- 
tonished to rind among those letters one, of which I cer- 
tainly had never received any communication, written by 
the Duke of Portland's own hand, and subsequent to the 
answer to your address, which had promised the fullest 
compliance with all the demands enumerated in that ad- 
dress, acquainting the Secretary of State (Lord Shelburne) 
that he had reason to hope Lord Charlemont, yourself, and 
your friends, would give your support to a project for an 
Act, or Acts, of Parliament to be passed in both kingdoms, 
for the purpose of securing to the Parliament of Great 
Britain a superintendence in all matters, whether of com- 
mercial or imperial concerns. Upon a comparison of dates, 



I found this curious communication of his Grace's to have 
been made within three days of my publicly disavowing , 
in his name, any intention of bringing forward further mea- 
sures grounded upon the second resolution of the British 
Houses of Parliament. This declaration I made in answer 
to Mr. Flood, who, not satisfied because I acknowledged 
myself not empowered to pledge the British Cabinet to the 
same effect, moved a resolution, which however the House, 
considering my declaration as sufficient security against 
any ulterior measure, superseded, by proceeding to the 
order of the day. Since the production of the Duke of 
Portland's correspondence, I have been at some pains to 
discover what the project was to which his Grace had lent 
his attention, and seems for a moment to have conceived 
practicable; — I say for a moment, because by his never 
having mentioned it to me, I conclude that he was very 
speedily undeceived, and conscious that it had, in truth, 
never been worthy of any serious notice. What the pro- 
ject was, I have learned from the information of its author, 
Mr. Ogilvie, who originally suggested it, and imagined 
that you and your friends would concur in it. Tt was 
indeed precisely what the Duke of Portland's letter stated 
it to be, — a plan for securing, by Acts of Parliament of both 
kingdoms, the superintendence of the British Parliament, 
in all matters, commercial and imperial ; and to this plan 
Lord Charlemont and yourself were to be induced to con- 
sent, immediately after having procured from Great Britain 
a promise of the final surrender of every claim to legisla- 
tive supremacy. If you supposed me capable of such 
duplicity (which I trust you do not), I must hope at least, 
that you will not think me weak enough ever to have had 
any participation in a transaction so incredibly absurd and 
puerile as this appears to have been. Mr. Ogilvie informs 
me, that with the Duke of Portland's sanction, he had a 




meeting with Lord Charlemont, yourself, Mr. Metge, and 
some others, for the purpose of offering this notable project 
to your consideration. A parent's blindness probably pre- 
vented his seeing what slender hopes he could reasonably 
entertain of your disposition to foster his hopeful progeny. 
He confesses that he met with no encouragement ; the ill- 
fated infant urns left to perish in its cradle. Its ephemeral 
existence probably prevented the Duke of Portland ever 
mentioning it to me; and shortly afterwards, it appears 
from his correspondence, he acquainted the Secretary of 
State that he had relinquished all hope of succeeding 
in the project of which he had given him an intimation. 

This, my dear sir, is the exact state of a transaction 
which may perhaps not be understood from a bare perusal 
of the correspondence, or from the reports of the conversa- 
tions which took place upon it, in the House of Commons 
of England. 

With respect to myself, allow me to avail myself of this 
opportunity to express my abhorrence of the most shameful 
and unprincipled violations of a compact, as sacred as 
history can furnish an example of between two independent 
nations. As far as I was an humble instrument in conclud- 
ing what was emphatically styled the final settlement of 
1782, I am ready to bear my testimony to the exact truth 
of every iota of the statement, so ably and forcibly made 
by Mr. Foster in the last, and so powerfully corroborated 
by yourself in the present, session of Parliament. 

If the death-blow of the liberties of Ireland is to be 
averted, it can only be by Mr. Foster's and your cordial co- 
operation : but I much fear that the power of corruption 
under your present virtuous chief governor, will ultimately 
prove successful. It is melancholy that such a character 
as his should be lent to sanction a measure of such out- 
rageous profligacy. 



I am glad to observe that your mutable countrymen 
seem once more sensible of the gratitude they owe you. 
That you may have the satisfactory triumph of returning 
their temporary unkindness by contributing to secure to 
them the benefits of an independent resident Parliament, 
is the very sincere wish of, 

Dear sir, your most faithful, 

And obedient humble servant, 

Richard Fitzpatrick. 

It is now only necessary to trace the progress 
of the several measures, and the steps taken by 
the British Parliament, in consequence of the pro- 
ceedings of the Irish. 

The address of the lGth April having been laid 
before the King, he directed copies to be sub- 
mitted to the British Parliament, and on the 
17th of May, the House resolved itself into a Com- 
mittee on them, and Mr. Fox went into the case, 
stating the arguments so often advanced on behalf 
of Ireland. He agreed in all the propositions, de- 
claring he would rather see Ireland totally sepa- 
rated from the Crown of England, than kept in 
subjection only by force. " Unwilling subjects,'" 
he added, (t are little better than enemies." 

The two points, he said, that England had to 
interfere in, were the repeal of the 6th of George I. 
and the restoration of the Appellant Jurisdiction : 
the rest lay between the King and the Irish Par- 
liament. He then moved a repeal of 6th George I. 


and an address to the king in reference to the 
other points of the arrangement. In reply to 
Lord Beauchamp, he stated that he had no objec- 
tion to word the Act of Repeal so as to contain 
a specific renunciation of the right claimed by 
England ; he had no objection to give it up in toto. 

Mr. Courtenay observed, that a simple repeal 
would be best, as a renunciation would imply that 
a right existed on the part of Great Britain. 

Mr. Burke approved of the entire repeal. The 
motion accordingly passed, without further debate 
or qualification in either house, and the Act of 
Repeal received the Royal Assent on the 21st of 

As Mr. Burke's name appears on this occasion, 
it is proper to insert his letter to Lord Charle- 
mont, written at this time. This great man could 
not remain insensible to the glory and honour that 
his native country had just acquired, and his 
prescient mind touched on the most essential 
point, the vital importance of which he at once 
discerned, Mr. Burke saw into futurity ; — in this 
he surpassed any man of the age ; and the re- 
commendation he now gave to his countrymen 
was well worthy of their attention and observance : 
that much wanted, long denied, and much de- 
sired benefit, 66 internal union" he here recom- 
mends as " the means of national prosperity 





Whitehall, June Y2th, 1782. 

My dear Lord, 
The slight mark of your Lordship's remembrance of an old 
friend, in the end of your Lordship's letter to Lord Rock- 
ingham, gave me very great satisfaction. It was always an 
object of my ambition to stand well with you ; I ever 
esteemed and admired your public and private virtues, 
which have at length produced all the effects which virtue 
can produce on this side of the grave, in the universal love 
of your countrymen. I assure you, my Lord, that I take a 
sincere part in the general joy, and hope that mutual affec- 
tion will do more for mutual help and mutual advantage 
between the two kingdoms than any ties of artificial con- 
nection whatever. If 1 were not persuaded of that, my 
satisfaction at the late events would not be so complete as 
it is. For, born as I was in Ireland, and having received 
what is equal to the origin of our being, the improvement of 
it, there, and therefore full of love, and I might say of fond 
partiality for Ireland, I should think any benefit to her 
which should be bought with the real disadvantage of this 
kingdom, or which might tend to loosen the ties of con- 
nection between them, would be, even to our native coun- 
try, a blessing of a very equivocal kind. But I am con- 
vinced that no reluctant tie can be a strong one, and that a 
natural cheerful alliance will be a far securer link of con- 
nection than any principle of subordination borne with 
grudging and discontent. All these contrivances are for the 
benefit of those they concern, and if they do not effect 
this, they do nothing, or worse than nothing. Go on and 
prosper ; improve the liberty you have obtained by your 
virtue j as a means of national prosperity , and internal 



I find that Ireland, among the other marks of her just 
gratitude to Mr. Grattan, (on which your Lordship will 
present him my congratulations,) intends to erect a monu- 
ment # to his honour, which is to be decorated with sculp- 
ture. It will be a pleasure to you to know that at this 
time a young man from Ireland is here, who I really think, 
as far as my judgment goes, is fully equal to our best 
statuaries, both in taste and execution. If you employ 
him you will employ the rising arts in decoration of the rising 
virtues of Ireland ; and though the former, in the scale of 
things, is infinitely below the latter, there is a kind of 
relationship between them ; I am sure there has ever been a 
close connection between them in your mind. The young- 
man's name is Hickey. I have the honour to be with the 
highest sentiments of regard and esteem, 
My dear Lord, 
Your Lordship's most obedient servant, 

Edmund Burke. 

We now revert to the Irish Parliament. On the 
27th of May, the House met, and the Viceroy in- 
formed them that the British legislature had con- 
curred in a resolution to remove the causes of the 
discontents and jealousies, and were united in a 
desire to gratify every wish expressed in the 
address ; and that His Majesty had commanded 

* The monument here alluded to was proposed to be erected by the 
gentlemen of the bar, but Mr. Grattan declined the honour, and the 
plan was abandoned. After Mr. Grattan's death, a statue in marble 
(executed by Chantry in a manner most creditable to his genius and 
taste) was erected by private subscription, and is placed in the Royal 
Exchange, Dublin ; to the Messrs. La Touche, James Corry, Anthony 
Blake, and a number of other ardent and generous-minded friends, this 
honour is due, and by Mr. Grattan's family was thankfully appreciated. 



him to assure them of his disposition to assent to 
Acts, to prevent the suppression of Bills in the 
Privy Council of Ireland, and the alteration of 
them any where, and to limit the duration of the 
Mutiny Bill. 

Mr. Grattan moved an address in reply. He 
said he understood that Great Britain gave up in 
toto every claim to authority over Ireland. He had 
no idea that in repealing the 6th George I. Great 
Britain should be bound to declare that she had 
formerly usurped a power. This would be a 
foolish caution — a dishonourable condition. The 
nation that insists on the humiliation of another 
nation is a foolish nation. He then suggested that 
£100,000 should be voted, and 20,000 men, to 
support the British navy ; and moved an address, 
stating that the unqualified repeal of the Otli 
George I. would form a pledge of amity; that 
they would prepare Bills to carry into execution 
the desires of the people ; and that, gratified in 
these particulars, no constitutional question could 
exist which would interrupt their harmony ; and 
that as Great Britain had approved of their firm- 
ness, so she might rely on their affection. 

Mr. Brownlow seconded this. Mr. Flood made 
some objection to the last paragraph, but at the 
same time he said, he did not entertain a murmur of 

The address passed ; Mr. Walsh and Sir Samuel 
Bradstreet alone dissenting. 


vote of £50,000 

[chap. XIII. 

Mr. Beauchamp Bagenal, member for the 
county of Carlow, now submitted to the House a 
proposition, most flattering to Mr. Grattan, and on 
the part of the nation truly generous and noble. 
It was his own original and spontaneous sentiment, 
done without concert, and quite unpremeditated — 
the feeling of a high and decided mind, composed 
of native worth and undaunted integrity. 

Mr. Bagenal was a strange and remarkable 
character. He had travelled much abroad, had 
visited most of the countries in Europe, and re- 
turned to his native land with manners and habits 
partly foreign. He was very liberal, spirited, and 
chivalrous ; but irregular. He resided among his 
numerous tenantry on his extensive estates, and 
passed his time in domestic and agricultural pur- 
suits ; but when he attended his duty in Parlia- 
ment, he was always to be found in the ranks of 
the people. 

On this occasion he moved that £100,000 should 
be granted, to purchase an estate for Mr. Grattan, 
as a reward for his public services ; but at the 
request of Mr. Grattan 's friends, he was induced 
to alter it to £50,000, which was accordingly 
agreed to. 

Mr. Grattan's first inclination was to refuse the 
entire grant: he consulted, however, with his friend 
and relation Colonel Marlay, who persuaded him 
to alter his determination, and to accept the grant. 
By this he became ever afterwards pledged to the 



Irish people ; and although he had previously re- 
fused to take office, it is probable that the accept- 
ance of this grant operated on his mind, and in- 
duced him to consider his exertions and his abili- 
ties exclusively mortgaged to his country's service, 
and was the cause of his so frequently afterwards 
refusing to hold any situation under the various 
succeeding administrations. 

Bills were then introduced by Mr. Grattan, Mr. 
Yelverton, and Mr. Forbes, to regulate the passing 
of Irish Acts of Parliament, to repeal Poyning's 
Law, to repeal the Perpetual Mutiny Bill, to secure 
the final judicature, to secure the freedom of elec- 
tion, and to secure the independence of the judges; 
and to conclude this great transaction, the dele- 
gates from the volunteers of the four provinces 
of Ireland assembled, and declared as follows : 

The Volunteer National Committee, at Dublin, on 18th 
of June, Lord Kingsborough in the Chair, 

Resolved unanimously, That the Addresses of the Irish 
Parliament having disclaimed any power or authority of 
any sort whatsoever in the Parliament of Great Britain 
over this realm, we shall consider a repeal of the 6th of 
George I. by the British Parliament, made in pursuance of 
the said addresses, a complete renunciation of all the 
claims contained in the said statute, and, as such, we will 
accept it, and deem it satisfactory. 
For Leinster, Richard Talbot, 

William Burton, 
John Parnell, 
R. Nevill. 




For Munster, 

For Ulster, 

For Connaught, 

Rob. Shapl. Carew, 
Wra. Thos. Monsel, 
Samuel Jacob, 
Arthur Blennerhasset, 
Wm. Godfrey, 

G. Stack pool, Delegate from Clare. 
Mervyn Archdall, 
Francis Dobbs, 
Joseph Pollock. 

Lewis Francis Irwin, 
Charles O'Hara, 
John Geoghegan. 

The people of the north testified their approba- 
tion of the mode in which this great national sub- 
ject was settled, by addressing His Majesty on 
the occasion. 


Dungannon, June 12, 1782. 
At a meeting of 306 companies of this province, pursuant 
to public notice, the following address was unanimously 
agreed upon, and ordered to be presented to His Majesty 
by the Chairman, Major Francis Dobbs, Captain James 
Dawson, Captain Francis Evans, and Colonel Thomas 
Morris Jones. 

Colonel William Irvine in the Chair. 

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty. 

The humble Address of the Volunteers of Ulster. 

Most Gracious Sovereign, 
With the most unfeigned attachment to your Majesty's 
person and family, we approach your throne. You are our 


true and lawful sovereign ; and we trust that every act 
of ours will evince that we are your faithful and loyal 

The Addresses of the Irish Parliament having dis- 
claimed any power or authority, of any sort whatsoever, in 
the Parliament of Great Britain over this realm, we shall 
consider an unqualified and unconditional repeal of the 
statute of the sixth of George the First, by the British Par- 
liament, made in pursuance of the said Addresses, a com- 
plete renunciation of a principle hostile to the rights of 
Ireland, and of all the claims contained in the said statute; 
and as such ice will accept it and deem it satisfactory. 
Thus united by the sacred bond of freedom, we request our 
gracious Sovereign to assure our sister kingdom, that we 
will be sharers in her fate, standing or falling: with the 
British Empire. 

We humbly beg leave to express our gratitude for the 
appointment of his Grace the Duke of Portland to the 
Government of Ireland. Prevented by situation from 
enjoying the presence of our benevolent Sovereign, we 
rejoice in a Viceroy whose character assures us that he will 
faithfully discharge the duties of his station. 

The economy and retrenchment which your Majesty 
has been graciously pleased both to recommend and prac- 
tise, will, we humbly hope, be extended to Ireland. Should 
a more equal representation of the people be also adopted, 
our prosperity would be for ever secured, and your Ma- 
jesty's reign most honourably distinguished in the annals 
of mankind. 

We rejoice in the great and signal success of your 
Majesty's arms : every enemy must yield to the efforts of 
a great, a brave, a free, and an united people. Your 
Majesty's choice of those whom you have entrusted with 
the administration of public affairs gives us the most heart- 

x 2 




felt satisfaction ; public confidence is revived ; and we 
doubt not but your Majesty's Crown and empire will 
speedily be raised to the highest pinnacle of human glory. 

We have ever beheld with admiration your Majesty's 
domestic virtues. May your Majesty, and the truly great 
and amiable partner of your Throne, long, long live to 
bless each other: may the offspring of your happy union 
reward your parental fondness, by a display of every grace 
and every virtue: and when, at length, the immutable law 
of nature shall demand that tribute, which even kings 
must pay, may your mourning subjects with one voice 
lament, that the great, the benevolent father of his people 
is no more. 

William Irvine, Chairman, 
James Dawson, Secretary. 

Another important proceeding is well deserving 
of attention here; the Roman Catholics had, in 
the Session of 1782, been restored to the en- 
joyment of many privileges, and it was supposed 
that they had taken but little part in recovering 
the rights of their country. This supposition has 
been already disproved, and the fact of their 
ancient and undeviating attachment to liberty has 
been clearly shown in the preceding pages ; and 
here it will be found that they evinced their grati- 
tude for the benefits they received, as on former 
occasions they displayed (under every disability) 
the love they bore their country, and their at- 
tachment to the principles of civil and religious 

Though the style and language of their Address 



is not that of freemen, or of men on an equality 
with the rest of their fellow-citizens, it yet shows 
that they were neither ungrateful for the rights 
restored to them, nor insensible to the great 
acquisitions their country had just procured. 

To his Grace, William-Henry Cavendish, Duke of Port- 
land, Lord Lieutenant-General, and General Governor of 
Ireland. — The humble address of the Roman Catholics 
of Ireland. 

May it please your Grace, 
We, his Majesty's dutiful and faithful subjects, the Roman 
Catholics of Ireland, beg leave to approach your Grace 
with sincere professions of our affectionate, loyal, and 
steadfast attachment to the person and family of our most 
gracious Sovereign, and of our ardent zeal to promote, by 
every means in our power, the success and glory of his 
Majesty's anus, and the tranquillity and prosperity of his 

With every sentiment of the most unfeigned gratitude 
to our humane and enlightened legislature, we feel with 
pleasure that we are allowed to have a home in our native 
land; and we shall never forget that the Royal assent was 
given by the Duke of Portland to laws, which in a consi- 
derable degree have restored us to the privileges of subjects, 
and to the rights of men. Your Grace's known generosity 
and enlarged mind, encourage us to hope that you will be 
pleased to represent us to his Majesty, as a body of people 
capable of returning gratitude for benefits, and not un- 
worthy of his royal protection and favour. 

Permit us, my Lord, to join with the rest of our fellow- 
subjects in declaring the high and grateful sense we enter- 
tain of the libera/ and tolerant spirit which so amply 



displays your Grace's magnanimity, and of that wise and 
beneficent conduct, which has so strongly marked your 
Grace's Administration, and justly obtained the unanimous 
applause of this nation. — Sept. 12, 1782. 

Signed for the Roman Catholics of Ireland, 
Gorman stown, 
Robert Cadell, 
Anthony Dermott. 


I return you thanks for this address. The sentiments of 
loyalty and attachment to his Majesty's Government, 
which you profess, are the natural result of the indul- 
gences you have lately received from the wisdom and 
liberality of the Legislature. By persevering in the con- 
duct which has entitled you to them, you can alone recom- 
mend yourselves to its further favour and protection. 

I am much obliged to you for your professions of per- 
sonal attachment, and good wishes to myself; and you 
may be assured that I shall not fail to represent you to his 
Majesty in the same favourable light in which I have 
always considered so considerable and respectable a body 
of his subjects. 

It is due to the memory of Lord Charlemont, to 
his great services, and his uncompromising attach- 
ment to the cause of Ireland, to transmit to pos- 
terity the following testimonials, presented to him 
by a spirited and gallant people, as a tribute of 
respect for his many virtues, and the noble in- 
dependence of his mind. These addresses and 
answers speak in a tongue till then unknown, the 



pure accents of liberty, and are the fittest tablets 
to place in the mausoleum of the Irish patriot. 
Another motive leads to this ; a wish to guard 
against the charge of injustice — lest it should be 
said that the natural partiality towards a parent 
had weighed down the balance and caused it to 
preponderate wholly on one side, to the prejudice 
of his colleague who took so conspicuous a part 
in liberating the country, and who is so fully 
entitled to his share of praise and admiration. 

No such partial or unworthy feeling influences 
the author of these pages. He desires to gather 
from the dust in which they lay, the laurels of this 
virtuous Irishman, and to exhibit these unequivo- 
cal proofs of a nation's regard for public merit ; 
the just and lasting offerings tendered to exalted 

But another and more enlarged sentiment has 
its influence also; — the hope to preserve the scat- 
tered remains of his country's glory, and rescue 
them from oblivion — to show that Ireland was 
worthy of the name of Nation — that then she 
stood high, and possessed a proud lineage — gene- 
rous and gallant sons, in whose bosom — (wounded, 
but not exhausted) — there breathed a noble spirit 
and a manly sentiment — a pure love of freedom 
— a regulated patriotism, and a " divine passion" 
for the land of their birth — that a flame lighted 
up with vestal purity, and preserved with vestal 
care, and which once so brightly burned in the 
hearts of her children, never can be extinguished. 



Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus 
Mens agitat molem et magno se corpore miscet; — 

These high- tempered addresses, and fine-toned 
replies, will perpetuate the memory as well as 
the lustre of those who adorned their country; 
they will hand down to after ages their names, 
their virtues, and their honours ; and these proud 
records of her sons will remain the richest legacy 
that can be bequeathed to those who are so for- 
tunate as to lay claim to this just inheritance. 
They will afford a rare example for others to fol- 
low — if possible to rival — but which it is not pos- 
sible to excel. 

manibus date lilia plenis 

Purpureos spargam flores — animamque 

His saltern accumulem donis et fungar inani 

lawyers' corps. 

June 7, 1781. 

Resolved unanimously, That the following Address be pre- 
sented to the Right Hon. the Earl of Charlemont : 

My Lord, 

When we consider that illegal and unconstitutional 
restraint, the result of weak and criminal policy, had long 
oppressed this unhappy nation, we cannot but rejoice that 
our countrymen, roused to a sense of their own importance, 
and demanding a restitution of their rights, have opened 
the glorious prospect of commercial and constitutional 

We feel a virtuous pride, that our endeavours have co- 
operated with those of the other military associations, and 
we trust, that a continuance of the patriotic spirit which 



first called us together, cannot fail to establish those rights 
on a solid and permanent foundation. 

My Lord, as the attainment of this great purpose was 
the principal object of our institution, we are determined 
to persevere until it shall be accomplished ; and conscious 
that our brethren have associated with an equal resolution, 
we are happy in giving your Lordship this opportunity of 
making these our sentiments known to the great and 
respectable bodies, who have manifested their spirit, inde- 
pendence, and discernment, in the honourable preference 
which they have given to your Lordship. 

Signed, by order of the Corps, 

June 8, 1781. A. N. Pedder, Colonel. 



Among the many honours heaped upon me by my kind 
and I fear too partial countrymen, there is none which has 
given me more heartfelt satisfaction than the truly spirited 
Address with which you have this day honoured me. The 
sentiments therein contained must undoubtedly meet with 
the assent and approbation of every true Irishman, and, 
coming from a body of men in every particular so respect- 
able, must tend to confirm not only your associates in arms, 
but all your countrymen, in those principles, upon a per- 
severance in which the liberty, the welfare, and the happi- 
ness of this kingdom must ultimately depend. Conscious 
as I am of this truth, you may be assured that T shall not 
fail, with the utmost alacrity, to make these your senti- 
ments known to those great and respectable bodies, whose 
partial goodness has called me to the high honour of acting 
as their Reviewing General ; and this I shall do with the 
greater pleasure, as I have every reason to be confident that 
they concur with you both in principle and purpose, and 




consequently, that it will make them happy to find their 
opinions and their intentions strengthened and confirmed 
by an authority which must necessarily add weight to their 
resolutions, and dignity to all their proceedings. 

Permit me, gentlemen, to take this public opportunity of 
testifying my unbounded gratitude for all your repeated 
favours — a gratitude which never can end but with my life, 
and which can only be shown by an unremitting perse- 
verance in that conduct which has procured me your ap- 

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, 
Your most obliged, 

Most faithful and obedient 

Humble servant, 
June 8, 1781. Charlemont. 

June 12, 1781. 
At a numerous meeting of the Delegates from the several 
Volunteer Corps, reviewed at Dublin, on Tuesday, the 
5th instant ; 

Colonel Sir Edward Newenham in the Chair : — 

To the Right Honourable James Earl of Charlemont. 
My Lord, 

With that reverence for public and domestic virtue which 
your character inspires, permit us to speak our gratitude 
to you, my Lord, who, without a thirst for praise, have 
obtained the admiration of all conditions of men, by an 

uniform perseverance in every thing virtuous, laudable , and 

We congratulate ourselves in having elected you our 
Reviewing General, and we want words to express our 
sense of that politeness with which you received and con- 
firmed our choice j but, we trust that our conduct will be 




an honourable testimony of your discernment, and we 
flatter ourselves, that your name must convince even ma- 
lignancy of the rectitude of our intentions. 

That weak and criminal policy, which restrained our 
industry and contracted our freedom, operated to stifle every 
sense of national character, and, if public virtue had not 
been inherent in the nature of Irishmen, we should have 
become a disgrace to the British empire, and the contempt 
of the world. We behold with exultation our associated 
fellow-subjects armed, and ready to oppose the enemies of 
Britain's prosperity, and at the same time delivering their 
native country from oppression and reproach. These ex- 
ertions, we trust, are the forerunners of blessings to our 
posterity ; and we hope, that the honourable preference 
which we have given to your Lordship, will excite others 
of your rank to an imitation of your virtues. 

Signed by order, 

J. T. Ashenhurst, Sec. 



The honours and favours conferred on me by my kind 
countrymen are so many, so great, and so frequent, that 
my acknowledgments can in no degree keep pace with 
their bounty; and language is deficient properly to express 
the feelings of my heart. Such is my situation in respect 
of the Address with which you have this day honoured me, 
wherein with an ardour of kindness, and a profusion of 
praise, dictated by your goodness, but unwarranted by my 
merits, you have anticipated me in those thanks which, 
instead of receiving, I ought to have paid. Yet, however 
poor I may be in expression, I am rich in gratitude ; my 
heart most sensibly feels your favours, and my life shall be 
employed in endeavouring to deserve them. 


The wonderful exertions of which I have been an admir- 
ing witness, while they do honour to every individual, must 
necessarily be in the highest degree beneficial to the king- 
dom in general. The advantages derived from them are 
too many to be recapitulated, neither is such recapitulation 
in any sort necessary. There is no man among us but 
knows and confesses their salutary effects. By them the 
national character has been exalted, and our country has 
become an object of universal veneration. Safe from inva- 
sion and insult, we are feared by our enemies, we are ad- 
mired and respected by our fellow-subjects. To confirm 
the nation in every species of civil and political welfare, 
nothing is wanting but a continuance of the same dignified 
and regulated spirit, of which there can be no doubt. 
Such are the effects which have arisen from the efforts of 
those men who have honoured me with their regard — who 
have selected me as an object of their favour, and placed 
me high among them ! What then must be my feelings? 
How can I express my acknowledgments ? Let my grati- 
tude be measured by the extent of my obligations, and you 
may, in some degree, be able to judge how sincerely and 
how ardently 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, most faithful, 

and obedient humble servant, 


At a meeting of the officers of the Volunteer Army, assem- 
bled at Londonderry, July 26, 1781 ; 
Lieutenant-Colonel Charleton in the Chair : — 
Resolved, That we think it expedient that Delegates 
from the Volunteer Corps, to whom it may be agreeable, 
do meet at Londonderry, the first Thursday of next May, 



to settle the time and place, and all other matters relative 
to another General Review, in the course of the ensuing 

Resolved, That addresses to James, Earl of Charlemont, 
our Reviewing General, and to Colonel Stewart, our Com- 
manding Officer, now read and approved, be signed in our 
name, and presented to them by our Chairman. 


My Lord, 

It is with pleasure that we embrace the present opportunity 
of expressing the lively sense which we, and every true 
Irishman, entertain of your Lordship's virtues, and parti- 
cularly that laudable attachment to your country, which 
gives lustre to nobility, and justly claims the esteem and 
gratitude of a kingdom. We speak the genuine feelings 
of our hearts, when we assure your Lordship that we are 
happy in having once more paid you the highest mark of 
respect in our power to bestow. 

Permit us to assure you, that we are still animated by 
the sentiments which become patriot soldiers, and that we 
are determined to be invariably influenced by the same 
regard to our country, for which our fellow-citizens in arms 
have been so conspicuously distinguished. Your Lord- 
ship will suffer us to congratulate you on the growing 
prosperity of the excellent cause in which we are engaged. 
We are now persuaded that we shall enjoy, without inter- 
ruption, the blessing of internal peace, and that no foreign 
enemy will presume to disturb our repose. But there is a 
hope, my Lord, still more dear to our hearts ; a hope, which 
nothing but absolute necessity will ever force us to relin- 
quish. We trust, that to the memorable advantages in 
matters of a civil nature, already obtained for this kingdom, 
our count ry will be emancipated from every bond, and fully 



reinstated in all the privileges necessary to the entire free- 
dom and independence of the Irish constitution. 

It is our sincere and anxious wish that Providence may 
favour your Lordship with the blessing of health, and spare 
you many years to enjoy the exalted pleasure which flows 
from rectitude of conduct, to be an ornament to your 
country, to animate by your example her patriots, and to 
see her liberties established on a firm and permanent 

Richard Charleton, Chairman. 

July 28, 1781. 


The address with which you have this day honoured me, 
is so extremely flattering to every feeling of my heart, that 
I should vainly attempt to find expressions strong enough 
to give it an adequate answer — a deficiency which would 
afford me much uneasiness, did not my own consciousness, 
and my knowledge of your partial kindness, thoroughly 
convince me that such an answer is as unnecessary as it 
would be impossible. You know enough of my political 
sentiments to be assured, that every idea which you have 
so nobly expressed is perfectly consonant to my way of 
thinking, and you may, of course, readily conceive how 
happy it must make me, to find my own favourite opinions 
and resolves approved, strengthened, and confirmed by 
the concurrence of a body of men with whom I shall 
ever wish to coincide, and for whom I entertain the 
highest veneration — a body of men, who, together with 
their worthy associates in arms, have procured to our 
native country internal peace and tranquillity, security 
from invasion, and from insult of every kind, and whose 
virtuous perseverance will infallibly confirm and secure us 
in the safe and full possession of every blessing, which the 



due execution of the laws and constitutional freedom can 
bestow. Your kind congratulation on the growing pros- 
perity of the excellent cause in which we are engaged, and 
above all, your assurance of a steady perseverance in those 
sentiments which can alone become patriot soldiers, must 
necessarily be in the highest degree pleasing to me ; for 
though I cannot entertain the slightest doubt of the firm 
adherence of every Irish Volunteer to those principles 
which are, as it were, the spirit of his profession, yet do I 
wish that no opportunity may be lost of declaring to the 
world, the constancy of your resolutions in this important 
particular. Your experienced partiality also, which neces- 
sarily includes a good opinion of my heart, forbids me to 
doubt that you are for a moment capable of thinking me 
ungrateful ; and such indeed I must be in the highest 
degree, were I not thoroughly sensible of the favours and 
honours which you have heaped upon me. To find myself 
a second time the object of your unsolicited choice — to 
be exalted to the highest station in an army of freemen — 
to be called upon to receive the greatest pleasure of which 
my heart is capable — an opportunity of viewing the splen- 
did effects of your spirit and perseverance — of beholding 
your numbers doubled, your discipline perfected, and, 
above all, your zeal in the cause of liberty, constant and 
undiminished: — such are the favours which your goodness 
has bestowed, such are the obligations under which you 
have laid me. Can it be then needful that I should endea- 
vour to make you sensible of the extent of my gratitude ? 
Surely no ; your own hearts, far better than my words, 
will inform you with what ardour and sincerity, 

I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, 
Your most obliged, 
Most faithful and obedient humble servant, 




[chap. XIII. 

At a Meeting of the Officers and Deputies of the Volun- 
teer Corps reviewed at Newry, on the 20th and 21st 
days of August, 1781 ; 

Lieutenant Colonel Dawson in the Chair : — 

Resolved, That the Address now read be signed by our 
Chairman, and presented to our Reviewing General, the 
Earl of Charlemont. 

My Lord, 

Trained to the arts, and nurtured in the bosom of peace, a 
love of our country first prompted us to learn the use of 
arms, and called us to the field ; — happy if our recent 
military exhibition has approved our assiduity, evinced our 
zeal, and in any degree merited your Lordship's commen- 
dation, — whom we cannot but feel the most sensible plea- 
sure in having had our Reviewing General, when we con- 
template the well-known integrity, virtue, perseverance, 
and steady attachment to the cause of Ireland and the 
rights of the people, which so justly entitles you to the 
illustrious character of Patriot, and gives that respecta- 
bility and true dignity, which no rank, no faction, can of 
itself command. We are highly gratified by the honour 
you have done us, and not a little proud to boast of being 
numbered among the Volunteer armies which your Lord- 
ship has reviewed this summer ; rejoicing in the hopes, 
that you have found us all increased in numbers, improved 
in discipline, and firmly united in the great and glorious 
cause which at first gave birth to our associations. 
Though we reflect with pleasure, my Lord, on the great 
and meritorious exertions we have made, by which our 
enemies have been discouraged from their more than pro- 
bable schemes of invading this island, while the regularity, 
internal peace, and good order of the country have been 




effectually established, yet like true and watchful citizens, 
we cannot avoid casting an anxious eye to the most im- 
portant object of all — our rights as freemen — the first of 
human blessings, dearer to us than life, and which we can 
never lose sight of. It is, therefore, with the utmost im- 
patience we await that period, which we trust is not far off, 
when we shall see them perfectly secured, by the re-estab- 
lishment of the Irish Constitution, in all its parts. With 
heartfelt delight we congratulate your Lordship on a pros- 
pect which promises so many advantages to this, while it 
will give such additional strength to our sister kingdom, 
by binding us get closer together, and for ever, with the safe, 
tender, and lasting ties of mutual interest, confidence and 
affection. The same zeal which pervades your Lordship's 
breast, makes us anticipate, in imagination, the joy and 
satisfaction we shall feel on that happy day, when every 
cause of jealousy and discord between the two kingdoms 
shall be done away. We are convinced, that you will deem 
it the happiest in your life, who so warmly interest yourself 
in the welfare of the British empire. May you live long 
in health to see this effected, and enjoy the satisfaction of 
beholding the whole of the British empire, a free, happy, 
and united people. This, my Lord, is our sincere wish ; 
and we further beg leave to intreatyour Lordship to accept 
of our most unfeigned thanks, as a small tribute of acknow- 
ledgment to the merit of a nobleman whose conduct and 
virtues deserve every mark of distinction from his admiring 
and grateful countrymen. 

Signed by order, 
Thomas Dawson, Chairman. 





[dlAP. XIII. 


Aug. 22, 1781. 


Permit me to return you my most sincere thanks for the 
high honour conferred on me by your address, the consti- 
tutional spirit of which affords me a pleasure which can 
scarcely be equalled, even by that which I feel from the 
kind partiality of its expressions. The honours conferred 
on individuals are only material as they tend to advance 
the common cause, and to promulgate the strength of 
national sentiment. It is, therefore, that, even in this 
light, I consider your address as a sound declaration of con- 
stitutional principles, and myself the happy and honoured 
instrument through which such sentiments are conveyed. 

Be assured, Gentlemen, that you do me but strict justice, 
when you suppose, that, in all those interesting points, 
upon which you have so zealously and so properly ex- 
pressed your hopes and your wishes, my feelings are pre- 
cisely the same as yours; my judgment and my heart 
coincide in assenting to every idea you have uttered. 

The increase of your numbers, the improvement of your 
discipline, the strict and unremitting regularity of your 
conduct, and the constancy of your spirit in the cause of 
liberty and of arms, are most undoubtedly an object of 
wonder to all men, and of peculiar delight to every true 
Irishman. Continue them, and you must prevent every 
direct attack upon the rights of your country, and secret 
enemies will be converted into innoxious spectators, or 
open admirers. 

I have nothing more to add on my own account, except 
to return you my most sincere acknowledgments for the 
protection you have afforded to my liberty and property, 
and for the distinction with which you have marked my 



person. After a recapitulation of such favours, is it neces- 
sary that I should assure you of the sincere and ardent 
gratitude with which 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, most faithful, 

and obedient humble servant, 



At a meeting of Delegates from the different Corps, re- 
viewed near Limerick, 29th and 30th of August, by the 
Right Honourable the Earl of Chailemont ; — Colonel 
John Thomas Waller, in the Chair : — 
Resolved, That the Address to the Earl of Chailemont, 

our Reviewing General, be signed and presented to him, 

by our Chairman. 

To the Right Honourable the Earl of Charlemont. 

We beg leave to return your Lordship our warmest and 
most sincere acknowledgments, for the high honour you 
have conferred on us, in complying with our request, to re- 
view this part of the Southern Volunteer Army. 

We feel in common with the rest of our countrymen, 
that you have ever been among the foremost in asserting 
the rights of this nation — rights obtained by the joint 
efforts of a people, animated in the cause of liberty, and 
determined to be free ; and we do assure your Lordship, 
that we have the most perfect reliance on those virtues, 
and that ability, which have rendered the name of 

y 2 




Char lemont illustrious in the present, and will immortalize 
it to future ages. 

We have the honour to be, 

Your Lordship's most obedient, 

and most humble servants, 
By order, 
J. T. Waller, Chairman. 


August 31, 1781. 


Permit me to return you my most sincere and grateful 
acknowledgments for your kind address, and for the high 
and unexpected honour you have conferred on me, by ap- 
pointing me to be your Reviewing General, a preference 
which must, in every respect, be dear to me, but more parti- 
cularly so, when I reflect, that I can possibly owe it to no 
other cause than your good opinion. For this cause, I am 
proud to say it, and this alone, you have bestowed upon 
me the highest honour in your power to grant, or in mine 
to receive — upon me, unconnected with you by any tie of 
neighbourhood or personal acquaintance — upon me, a 
stranger; thereby proving and declaring to the world, that 
your choice can only be influenced by a similarity of 
sentiment and of principle, and that no man is by you 
accounted a stranger, who heartily and sincerely joins with 
you in professing the same political faith, and who proves 
by his actions, that such profession is the genuine creed of 
his heart, the only religion in which we are, and ought to 
be, intolerant ! Under these circumstances, I need not, 
I am sure, fruitlessly labour, by endeavouring to express 
the gratitude of my heart for the honour I have now 
received, an honour great in itself, and which becomes 
still more dear to me, when I consider it as the means 



through which I have enjoyed the unspeakable pleasure of 
beholding that glorious array which has been exhibited at 
the late review, of seeing in these southern parts of the 
kingdom, the same ardour, the same regularity, the same 
discipline, the same indications of perseverance; in a word, 
the same spirit prevail, as that to which I have been an 
admiring witness in those more northern provinces with 
which I am more immediately connected, and to which my 
observation had hitherto been limited. 

Neither is the pleasure I have felt upon this occasion, 
by any means confined to that common delight, which 
every uninterested person must receive, in viewing your 
military pomp and splendour. The impression made upon 
my mind, is of a nature far more important, far more 
delightful, while, reflecting on its tendency, I behold in 
your array, the prosperity, the safety, and the liberty of 
my country. 

I cannot conclude, without intreating you to accept my 
most sincere congratulations upon the late glorious vindi- 
cation of the natural and uncontrovertible rights of this, 
till now, oppressed country — rights, which, as you well 
express it, have been obtained by the joint efforts of a 
people, animated in the cause of liberty, and determined to 
be free; an event at which not only every Irishman, but 
every lover of liberty throughout the world, must rejoice ; 
but w hich must more especially affect you, who, in concur- 
rence with the rest of your brave countrymen, have, by 
your virtuous perseverance in the cause of freedom, had so 
large a share in producing it. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, most faithful, and 

Most obedient humble servant, 






At a meeting of the representatives of thirty-six volunteer 
corps, assembled at Belfast, St. Patrick's-day, 1782. 
Hon. Col. Rowley, in the chair: — 

Resolved unanimously, That a review be held at Belfast, 
on Wednesday, the 31st day of July next, of the corps here 
represented, and of such other corps as shall return them- 
selves to the secretary of this meeting, before the first day 
of June next. 

Resolved unanimously, That the Earl of Charlemont be 
again requested to do us the honour of being our Review- 
ing General — that we invite him, because he gives true 
lustre to nobility — discharges the duties of his rank — and 
evinces by his conduct, that he deserves to be a peer. 


Dublin, March 25, 1782. 


With the utmost pleasure, alacrity, and thankfulness, I 
again accept of the high honour you have been pleased to 
confer on me, and can only answer your repeated favours 
by a repetition of unfeigned thanks, by a continuation of 
heart-felt gratitude, and by a strenuous perseverance in 
my endeavours to render myself worthy of your favour. 

When first you chose me your Reviewing General, I 
considered your choice as the highest honour I could ever 
enjoy ; but every succeeding preference increases that 
honour, and adds new pleasure to the satisfaction which I 
at first experienced, by inducing me to flatter myself that 
your knowledge of me has in no sort lessened your kind, 
though, I fear, partial opinion, and that my subsequent 


conduct has been such as to meet with your continued 

1 have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, and 

Obedient humble servant, 


At a meeting of the Armagh Light Dragoons, the 15th day 
of April, 1782, Thomas Clarke, Esq., in the chair. 

To the Right Hon. James, Earl of Charlemont. 
My Lord, 

We beg leave to add our troop to the numerous corps 
already under your Lordship's command. Numerous as 
already are the volunteers of Ireland, we hope your Lord- 
ship will consider their increase at this period of national 
expectation as no unpromising omen of the spirit and 
principles of this country, that spirit and those principles 
which it has been your Lordship's study to cultivate, and 
which seem at length about to be crowned with their 
natural, yet with astonishing success. 

We congratulate your Lordship on events which must 
yield such sincere, such exalted pleasure, to one who feels 
like your Lordship, for the welfare and glory of his country, 
and, like your Lordship, must be conscious that he contri- 
buted a noble share. 

We now glory in our country, we now glory in the name 
of Irishmen, and on whatever occasion, and in whatever 
situation, it shall be our study not to disgrace the name. 

Signed, by order, 
Thomas Clarke, Chairman. 



[chap. XIII. 


Dublin, April 28, 1782. 


Permit me to return you my most sincere acknowledg- 
ments, first, for the grand accession of strength, which, by 
your spirited association, you have added to the regiment 
I have the honour to command ; and next, for your having 
appointed me your captain, an office which I accept with 
pleasure and with gratitude, and which, however unequal 
to the task, I will endeavour, as far as in me lies, properly 
to execute. 

I heartily rejoice in every increase of the volunteer army, 
and join with you in considering such increase, at this 
important period, as a sure indication of the unabating 
prevalence of that spirit, and of those principles, which are 
the firmest foundation, and the best security, for national 
liberty and consequent happiness. 

With the utmost gratitude I receive your kind felicita- 
tions, and congratulate our country upon the glorious 
prospect which is now open to us ; assuring you, that I 
shall ever consider any share which I, in concurrence with 
my virtuous fellow-citizens, may have had in bringing 
about those great and happy events to which your address 
alludes, as the first honour and blessing of my life. 
I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, and 

Obedient humble servant, 




At a meeting of the officers of the volunteer army, reviewed 
at Strabane, on the 18th and 19th of July, 1782, 
Colonel James Alexander, in the chair : — 
Resolved, That the addresses to the Earl of Charlemont, 
our Reviewing General, to Colonel Stewart, our Command- 
ing Officer, and to Lieutenant-Colonel Charleton, second 
in command, now read and approved, be signed in our 
name, and presented to them by the chairman. 

To General the Earl of Charlemont. 
My Lord, 

We beg leave most respectfully to assure you, that we, and 
the corps to which we belong, are very sensible of the honour 
of being reviewed by your Lordship upon the present 
occasion. However imperfect we may have appeared to 
you in a military capacity, we wish to excel, and are par- 
ticularly ambitious to merit your Lordship's approbation. 
Though from our situation, it cannot be expected that we 
should be complete soldiers, we feel with conscious pride, 
that we continue to be animated by the spirit and prin- 
ciples which have ever distinguished Irish volunteers. 
How delightful, my Lord, to that spirit, and to those 
principles, that we have lived to see the day, the happy, 
the glorious day, which is now opening to our view the 
prospect of a perfect emancipation from every bond — that 
we have lived to be inspired with the pleasing hope of 
seeing Ireland, our beloved country, regain her lost 
honours, her name, her just and original rights, and the 
respectable consequence to which she is entitled amidst 
the nations of Europe. — Next to the auspicious \5th of 
February*, the 1 6th of Aprilf ,1782, will shine in the annals 

• When the Roman Catholic relief was agreed to. 
f When the address on Irish rights was agreed to. 



[chap. XIII. 

of the nation with resplendent lustre. Supported by the 
prudence, by the magnanimity of our fellow citizens in 
arms, and by the determined, unanimous sentiments of 
the people, then it was that our Parliament represented 
our grievances to Majesty, with a dignity becoming the 
peers of Ireland, and worthy of the representatives of a 
nation born to enjoy the privileges of freedom. Permit us, 
my Lord, to dwell for a moment on this important trans- 
action, and its immediate consequences : they shed the 
first general ray upon our prospect, and are the foundation 
of our confidence. Upon that memorable occasion the 
Lords, in their address to the Throne, with a view to the 
repeal of the 6th of George L, declared it to be a grie- 
vance ; asserted that Ireland is an Independent Kingdom, 
and that none but our King, with our Lords and Com- 
mons, are competent to make laws to bind us. We are 
happy, my Lord, that upon the same subject, the Commons 
in their address are full and explicit ; that they denied 
any Parliament, except our own, to have power or autho- 
rity, of any sort whatsoever, in this country ; that they 
declared this principle to be the very essence of our 
liberties, a principle not to be yielded up but with their 
lives. It gives us particular pleasure, that their reasons 
for desiring a repeal of the English Declaratory Act, so 
expressly point out the claims of the British Parliament to 
legislate for us, which it advances, as that which makes it 
injurious to our rights, and the chief cause of the dis- 
contents and jealousies of this kingdom. 

We could have no dependence on the faith of our sister 
country, as renouncing all pretensions of making laws to 
bind Ireland, did we imagine that she made, with respect 
to us, the least distinction betwixt the right of external 
and internal legislation ; — a distinction which we have 
ever reprobated, being founded on usurpation, and totally 
inconsistent with our privileges. 




The national benefits we have received, reflect peculiar 
honour upon the patriotic administration of the Duke of 
Portland, for whose personal virtues we have a high 
esteem, and to whose celebrated ancestor the friends of 
liberty in these kingdoms, at a most critical period, were 
exceedingly indebted. 

Our loyalty to the King, we trust, we shall always 
retain with unremitting zeal, whilst we retain the firmness 
and the principle, which, by the blessing of Providence, 
have been the means of this great revolution. You, my 
Lord, who have had so large and honourable a share in it, 
must feel the advantages resulting from it to your country, 
with exquisite sensibility. With the warmth of respect 
and affection, we thank your Lordship for the public 
spirit, for the steady, persevering exertions in behalf of the 
rights of Ireland, by which you have been so eminently 
distinguished. Sentiments inspired by such obligations 
cannot be transient; they will accompany us to the grave, 
and our children's children, exulting in the blessings of 
freedom, for which you have so nobly contended, will 
remember the virtues of Charlemont with esteem, with 
gratitude, and veneration. 

James Alexander, Chairman. 

July 20, 1782. 


As in every communication with my friends it is neces- 
sary for me to follow and obey the immediate impulse and 
dictates of my heart, I find myself compelled, previous 
even to the acknowledgments which are so justly your due, 
to pour forth my soul in those seasonable congratulations, 
w hich are, and ought to be, the peculiar topic of every 
communication between Irishmen at this auspicious pe- 




riod. Yes, my dear countrymen and fellow-soldiers, your 
virtuous efforts have prevailed, and you are now free ; in 
which comprehensive word, every species of happiness 
and of prosperity is virtually included. Your gracious 
Sovereign, aided by the counsels of a wise and just 
administration, and supported by the affectionate feelings 
of our beloved sister country, has kindly yielded to the 
unanimous wishes and rightful claims of Ireland and of 
its Parliament; and every thing essentially noxious to your 
constitutional rights is now done away, some internal 
regulations alone excepted, which must necessarily take 
place under the influence of national spirit, through the 
firmness and wisdom of your Representatives, whose suc- 
cessful unanimity has pledged them to proceed in the great 
work of perfecting the constitution. The two kingdoms 
are now united by the indissoluble bonds of mutual liberty 
and consequent affection, — the only tie by which freemen 
can be joined and may they ever remain so, to the firm 
establishment of their perpetual prosperity, and to the 
terror of all their enemies. 

With you, my dearest countrymen, I sincerely concur, 
in consecrating to eternal memory, the glorious 15th # of 
February, 1782, conscious as I am of the salutary effects 
produced by the proceedings of that day ; and with you 
I reprobate the distinction between external and internal 
legislation,- — a distinction, however, which I trust will 
never be insisted upon, and which, I am confident, only 
exists in the crude ideas of a few imprudent individuals. 

What you mention respecting our present excellent 
chief Governor, affords me the highest satisfaction, as our 
sentiments perfectly agree. I have had much experience 
of his character. He is a man whose mind cannot be de- 

* The Roman Catholic Bill of Relief. 




bauched or warped, even by his station; a statesman with- 
out disguise, and a politician without deceit. Superior to 
all little arts, he knows no other method of carrying a 
point, but to show those, whom he is appointed to govern, 
that he labours only for their advantage. Born a Whig, 
and educated in the school of true policy, his hereditary 
love of liberty is heightened and adorned by the peculiar 
qualities and graces of his judgment and of his heart ; and 
I am confident that he will ever esteem it the happiest 
and most glorious event of his life, that he was called upon 
to announce and to establish the freedom of a nation. 
Such is the man who now rules over us. Heaven, in its 
approved goodness to this country, grant that he may long 
remain our Governor! 

Give me leave, in the next place, to congratulate you 
upon the appearance you have made at this late review, 
and to assure you, that it has exceeded even my sanguine 
expectations. When I last saw you, I thought your dis- 
cipline complete; but you, I find, have the facility of going 
far beyond my ideas of perfection. I will not attempt to 
explain to you the feelings of my heart upon this subject; 
— indeed, it is unnecessary. Let my delight, at being an 
eye-witness to your exertions, be measured by that which 
I must feel from the effects which those exertions have 
produced. Yet, though, after having been gratified in 
the great object of your wishes, contentment is a virtue 
necessary, not only to your own happiness, but to the wel- 
fare of the state, let not that induce you, in any degree, to 
relax in those strenuous efforts which have hitherto 
marked your name with honour. The defence of your 
country calls for your perseverance, and freedom, however 
well established by law, must ever be precarious, if the 
people are not able to protect their rights. 




Please to accept my most sincere acknowledgments for 
the kind warmth of your address, and particularly for the 
honourable share you have allotted me in the great revo- 
lution which has been lately produced. If I have had any 
share in these wonderful occurrences, the only merit I can 
arrogate to myself is, that I was willing ; — that I have been 
able, my virtuous fellow-soldiers, is your gift. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, 

and obedient humble servant, 


At a meeting of the Loughinschillen Battalion and Glen- 
wood Foresters, reviewed on Toome Strand, the 29th of 
July, — Colonel Staples, in the chair, 

Resolved unanimously, That the following Address be 
presented to the Earl of Charlemont: — 

My Lord, 

We do not presume to address your Lordship, from a sup- 
position that any thing we can say will add lustre to a 
character so eminently distinguished by every public and 
private virtue, but from a wish to express our gratitude 
for the inestimable blessings which you have been so 
highly instrumental in obtaining for this kingdom, and 
for that contentment which now generally prevails through- 
out this country, resulting from a conviction, that our 
liberty is most effectually established, and must remain 
secured to us, so long as we continue united among our- 

That degree of perfection to which the volunteers of 




Ulster are arrived, must, in a great measure, be attributed 
to the uncommon pains which your Lordship has taken to 
promote that desirable end ; and we flatter ourselves, that 
the honour you have done us this day, will greatly tend to 
our advancement in military discipline. The only, and we 
are convinced the most acceptable return which we can 
make your Lordship, for so marked a favour, is to assure 
you, we shall steadily persevere in those principles which 
first united us, and prove ourselves, upon all occasions, 
faithful and affectionate subjects to His Majesty, and zea- 
lous supporters of the rights of Ireland. 

John Staples, Chairman. 

July 29, 1782. 


With the greatest satisfaction I have this day beheld your 
exertions, and am happy in the opportunity you have 
given me, of having seen a body of men whom I had not, 
till now, had the honour to review, vieing in appointment, 
in discipline, and in every military quality, with those 
great bodies which have so often been the objects of my 

Please to accept my most sincere acknowledgments for 
the honour and kindness of your Address, and give me 
leave to assure you, that nothing can be more truly grate- 
ful to me, than the testimony you therein give, of that con- 
tent which ought, in my opinion, to be universal, and 
which I doubt not, will, upon mature consideration, ere 
long, spread itself over all the land. Our rights, my dear 
countrymen, have been vindicated; our constitution has 
been restored ; and nothing now remains to give security 
and stability to our happiness, but an unremitting per- 


severance in those glorious exertions which have had so 
large a share in procuring it. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, 
and obedient humble servant, 


At a meeting of Delegates from sixty-five corps, reviewed 
near Belfast, July 31, and the 1st and 2nd of August, 
1782, — Colonel Stewart in the Chair: — 

Resolved unanimously, That the following Address be 
signed by our chairman, and presented to the Earl of 
Charlemont, General of the Volunteer Army in the Pro- 
vince of Ulster. 
My Lord, 

We have had the honour of seeing you thrice our Review- 
ing General ; — your great and respectable character led us 
first to request your reviewing us, and afterwards to renew 
our election. We will not use many words, for words are 
inadequate to our ideas. We feel that you have been 
among the foremost in obtaining the rights of your country , 
and we are convinced that your feelings will do justice to 
our sentiments. 

R. Stewart, Chairman. 

August 4, 1782. 


Whatever pleasure I must at all times have felt in seeing 
you under arms, I have upon this late occasion beheld 
your array with redoubled delight ; not so much on account 



of your perfected discipline, and your astonishing success 
in the new line of military manoeuvres, which you have now 
for the first time adopted, as from that association of 
ideas which must naturally arise in my mind, — when Icon- 
template, in your array, one principal cause of those glo- 
rious events by which the constitutional rights of my 
country have been vindicated, and her liberty restored, — 
when I view you, not only as men who deserve to be free, 
but as an army of freemen — not only as the assertors, but 
as the restorers of Irish freedom. — Permit me then, my 
friends and fellow-soldiers, with an exultation of heart 
that baffles all expression, to congratulate you on the late 
happy and glorious change in the constitution of Ireland, 
with which heaven has rewarded your virtue, assuring you, 
that, as no man could more sensibly feel than I did the 
depression of his country, so is there none who more grate- 
fully acknowledges, and more sincerely rejoices in its pre- 
sent exaltation. 

Give me leave from my heart to thank you for all your 
repeated favours, particularly for your kind and truly 
honourable reception of me as your general, and for the 
share you have had in exalting me to that high dignity ; 
an elevation which leaves ungratified no wish of my am- 
bition, excepting that of being able in some degree to 
merit it. By putting me at the head of an army of men 
whose spirit and whose principles have produced such 
wonderful effects, you have fully and in the strongest 
manner declared your opinion of my principles and of my 
spirit. Is there upon earth any honour which can equal 
such an opinion from such men ? Yes, my kind and 
generous countrymen, one honour there is, which fully 
equals, and perhaps surpasses it ; and that also your lavish 
goodness has conferred on me, by ranking me among the 
foremost in obtaining the rights of Ireland — rights which 

VOL II. z 



our joint efforts have obtained^ and which shall never again 
be wrested from us. If the most ardent zeal in a cause, 
the prosperity of which has ever been the first object of 
my soul, can stand in the place of ability, I may indeed 
have deserved this first of all commendations, since in that 
species of merit, I will yield to no man. But the deed 
rewards itself; and the ample success with which my 
wishes have been crowned, would have far over-paid all my 
desert, even though my kind and partial country had not 
in addition heaped upon me a succession of honours, which 
I never could deserve, and never shall forget. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, 
And obedient humble servant, 



At a meeting of the commanding officers of the different 
Volunteer Corps of Cavalry and Infantry of the county 
and city of Cork, the 15th of September, the right ho- 
nourable Lord Doneraile in the chair, 
Resolved, That a committee be appointed to draw up a 
proper address to the right honourable the Earl of Charle- 
mont, our reviewing-general. 

To His Excellency General Lord Charlemont. 
My Lord, 

We, the delegates of the volunteer corps of the county and 
city of Cork, reviewed by your Lordship on the 11th inst., 
most heartily embrace this opportunity of conveying to you 
those sentiments of gratitude and admiration, which a life 
of undeviating political virtue has merited from your fellow- 



subjects of this land, nor can we repress the feelings excited 
in our breasts by your recent exertions in the attainment 
of our constitutional rights. 

We should think it, however, my Lord, some violation of 
that perfect confidence we repose in your integrity, if we 
kept any reserve with your Lordship, and to the punc- 
tilios of address, sacrificed the sincerity of representation. 

We now enjoy the invaluable blessings of a free consti- 
tution ; and all who do, must be zealous to perpetuate it. 
Permit us, therefore, to declare that we shall ever be jealous 
of any Ministerial attempt (be it disguised under whatever 
artifice or name ingenuity may suggest,) to degrade the 
volunteers of this kingdom into a species of useless militia ;* 
possibly to be influenced by other principles than those 
which first excited, and we trust will continue to direct, the 
Irish Associations. 

We cannot, my Lord, close these imperfect expressions 
of the high sense we entertain of your Lordship's private 
virtues and political principles, without congratulating our 
country on that national harmony which the choice of you 
(the distinguished leader of our respected brethren of the 
north) to review the volunteer forces of the south, incon- 
testibly demonstrates. And we ardently confide that 
your Lordship's name will prove to the latest hour of a 
long and honourable life, the bond of volunteer confederacy. 

Doner aile, Chairman. 

* The idea of introducing a militia was intended, but being disrelished 
by the people, was afterwards abandoned. 




September 24, 1782. 


In writing to men of your principles, I should esteem 
myself wanting in duty, if I did not seize the first oppor- 
tunity of congratulating you upon the late glorious events, 
by which this long-oppressed kingdom has at length been 
restored to her natural and constitutional rights; events 
which, however wonderful they may at first sight appear, 
cease to be so when we consider the concurrent causes by 
which they have been produced. The magnanimity of a 
gracious sovereign wishing to rule over free men — the 
wisdom of a just and patriotic Ministry, which seemed to 
be destined, by the restoration of liberty, to restore the 
empire — the singular and unprecedented virtue of a Chief 
Governor, the aim and purpose of whose Administration 
was to establish the rights of Ireland — a Parliament una- 
nimous in the cause of freedom — and a people resolved to 
be free : — from such causes, the effects to which we have 
been witnesses naturally follow ; and the wonder would 
have been if it had been otherwise. But, of all men, to 
me these events must appear the most natural, — to me, 
who, called on by the kind partiality of my countrymen, 
have been eye-witness, through the greater part of the 
island, to their astonishing exertions in the cause of their 
country — who have now, through your goodness, had an 
opportunity of observing the same patriotic spirit, the same 
military ardour t the same discipline extending itself from 
the most northern parts of this kingdom, even to its southern 
limits — who have seen and known the people of Ireland- — 
and who, in consequence of that experience, must conclude 
that such a people cannot be enslaved — that a country so 
inhabited must be free! 




I sincerely join with you in condemning the measure to 
which you allude; but am happy in thinking that nothing 
will ever be able to induce the volunteers of Ireland to 
quit their present most honourable station, for any other 
service whatsoever ; confident, as I am, that the associated 
army is not only the bulwark of our Constitution, but that 
its permanency and increase will be more effectual to the 
defence of the kingdom against all invaders, than any 
other plan that can be devised ; — a truth of which I am 
persuaded our brethren in arms are thoroughly sensible. 

Respecting your appearance and conduct in the field, as 
I cannot find words adequate to my feelings, I think it 
better to be silent. Let it suffice to say, that the pleasure 
I have felt in beholding your exertions, has been fully 
equal even to the honour which I have received from your 
unsolicited choice, — an honour far transcending the pageant 
of rank or title, inasmuch as it can only be conferred by 
the unbiassed love and esteem of a people whose character 
throughout the world is such as to render their approbation 
the stamp of merit. 

Your kind and truly honourable address, requires in the 
next place my most grateful acknowledgments, and must 
necessarily be considered as a sequel to that unequalled 
goodness which induced you to make choice of me for your 
reviewing-general, thereby marking, in the fullest manner, 
the opinion you entertain of my principles, and of my zeal 
for my country's service. Yes, my dear and virtuous 
countrymen, with conscious pride I do profess that the love 
of Ireland has ever been the ruling passion of my soul! I 
loved her even when she was less amiable ; even in her de- 
pression 1 clearly discovered the seeds of those glorious 
qualities which have lately expanded themselves to the 
astonishment of mankind, and sought every means within 
the compass of my poor abilities, to preserve and to nourish 



those latent sparks, which would, I well knew, at the des- 
tined period, burst into light ! I loved her in her utmost 
humiliation. What must I now do in her state of exalta- 
tion and of glory? — Such, my fellow-soldiers, is the present 
situation of your beloved country. You are free — you are 
happy in the attainment of your constitutional rights, prin- 
cipally through the exertions of your own spirit, your own 

Yet, as a state of prosperity is the situation of all 
others when prudent precaution is more likely to be laid 
asleep, give me leave to remind you of the necessity which 
still remains for a continuation of unremitting vigilance ; 
remember, that though you now enjoy the inestimable 
objects of all your wishes, an equal perseverance in those 
astonishing efforts which have rendered the name of Irish- 
man respectable through all the world, must still be main- 
tained, for the defence of that country, which, since its late 
emancipation, must be dearer to you than ever for the 
support of your sister nation, now truly a sister ; and for 
the maintenance of the crown and dignity of your most 
gracious Sovereign. Remember, also, that the same un- 
remitting perseverance, by which liberty is obtained, is 
necessary to preserve it, and that the strength and spirit 
of the people is the only firm and perpetual security for 
the freedom of the state. 

I have the honour to be, 
Your most obliged, faithful, 

And devoted, humble servant, 


34 :j 


Increase of the navy. — King's speech relative to Ireland, — Lord Charle- 
mont. — New discontents and their origin. — Conduct of Mr. Flood. — 
He agitates for express renunciation. — Mr. Flood's motion. — Mr. 
Grattan's resolutions. — Sinister proceedings of pseudo patriots. — 
Lord Abingdon. — His character. — Bill moved by him to defeat the 
late concessions to Ireland. — Bad effects of it in Ireland. — Further 
causes of discontent. — The volunteers. — The lawyers' corps. — Con- 
duct of Mr. Fox. — The question of simple repeal argued. — Dangers 
and evils of the new proceedings. — Fatal consequences of misgovern- 
ment. — Disputes about words. — Parallel between Ireland and Ame- 
rica. — The revolution of 1G88. — Sir Jonah Barrington and Mr.Grattan. 
— Opinion of the great law authorities on the question of simple re- 

| peal. — Sagacity and firmness of Mr. Grattan. — Case submitted for 
opinion. — Nine Irish judges in favour of Mr. Grattan and Mr. Fox — 
Lord Kenyon — Lord Erskine — Sir Arthur Piggott — and Sir Samuel 
Romilly's opinion of the case of simple repeal. — Singular change in 
Mr. Grattan's popularity. — Lord Charlemont's remarks on this sub- 
ject. — Mr. Hardy — His character. — Death of Lord Rockingham — His 
character. — Mr. Pitt — Slave Trade — Mr. Fox — Lord John Russell. 
— Letters from Mr. Pery to Mr. Grattan — and Mr. Grattan in reply. 

The vote of the Irish Parliament to raise 20,000 
men, came at this period very opportunely, and 
was much required ; for, in a few months after 
this, the British minister found it necessary to 
increase the navy by a vote of 1 10,000 men. Ad- 


miral Keppel sent to Ireland one of the ablest and 
most active officers of the navy, to receive the Irish 
recruits, with an assurance, that if supplied, he could 
equip fourteen ships of the line for the fleet that 
Lord Howe was destined to command. Accord- 
ingly the City and County of Dublin Volunteers, 
headed by Lord Charlemont, assembled, and re- 
solved to adopt the plan which Captain McBride, 
(the naval officer sent over) had submitted to them ; 
and arrangements were immediately made to sup- 
ply clothing and bounty to those volunteers who 
chose to enter the service of the navy. 

His Majesty alluded to these exertions in his 
speech at the closing of the session of the English 
Parliament, on the 11th of July, where he states, 
"The zeal which my subjects in Ireland have 
expressed for the public service, shows that the 
liberality of the proceedings towards them is felt 
there as it ought, and has engaged their affections 
equally with their duty and interest, in the com- 
mon cause." 

This important measure, however, received a 
check, owing to the conduct of some interested 
and jealous individuals, who endeavoured to 
spread abroad a spirit of discontent respecting the 
repeal of the 6th of George the First. This dis- 
content Lord Charlemont alludes to in his letter 
to Lord Rockingham, where he says, " this I have 
endeavoured, and shall labour by every means in 
my power to remove, even though my popularity 




should be hazarded by such an attempt ; for, 
however dearly I may hold the love of the people, 
if a constant perseverance in the service of my 
country cannot retain it, I should account it nei- 
ther honourable nor satisfactory." Such was the 
wise opinion, and the well-regulated feeling, enter- 
tained by this dignified popular leader. In the 
same letter he adds, " I am extremely obliged to 
your Lordship for your kind alacrity in carrying 
into execution the vote of the House of Commons 
in behalf of my friend Grattan. No man has ever 
merited more from his country than he has done ; 
and his present conduct, in labouring with me to 
check the ill effects which, without our united 
efforts, might have been produced by the exer- 
tions of the discontented, is, in my opinion, a 
continuation of his merits/' 

The origin of this discontent, to which Lord 
Charlemont here alludes, may be attributed in 
some degree to the following circumstances : — 
Mr. Flood was not restored to his seat in the 
Privy Council, nor to his office of 3,500/. a-year, 
both of which he had been so unjustly deprived of 
by the preceding administration. No vote or 
grant was made to him by the House of Commons, 
although suggested at the time when the resolu- 
tions were passed in favour of Mr. Grattan. The 
public measures, too, were all pre-occupied. Mr. 
Grattan had moved the declaration of rights, 
and also the address, and had carried both ; 




he had brought in a Bill respecting the final 
judicature, and a Bill to repeal the perpetual 
Mutiny Act. Mr. Yelverton brought in a Bill to 
regulate the passing of Irish Acts, and to repeal 
Poyning's Law ; he brought in another Bill to 
secure property in Ireland, and confirm English 
statutes. Mr. Forbes brought in a Bill to secure 
the independence of the judges, and make their 
offices continue during good behaviour. Sir 
Edward Newenham brought in a Bill to secure 
the freedom of elections, and to prevent revenue 
officers from voting. Thus all the important 
measures were pre- occupied, and nothing was left 
for Mr. Flood. 

It happened, also, very unfortunately, that a 
British Act had just passed, regulating the im- 
portation of sugars, in which Ireland, though 
not mentioned, was supposed to be comprehended 
in the general terms. It was the error of the clerk 
— the result of a mistake ; and one that time and 
temper would soon adjust, as no principle was in 

Mr. Grattan noticed this circumstance on the 
13th of June ; and then it was that Mr. Flood 
started the doctrine of simple repeal. The ques- 
tion had not been stated in the House of Com- 
mons before ; and when an objection was made 
by Sir Samuel Bradstreet, in the presence of Mr. 
Flood, some days prior, it appeared of so little 
consequence, that scarce any notice was taken of 




it ; and Mr. Flood made no remark upon it what- 

He now, however, objected that the Bill proposed 
in the English House to repeal the 6th of George 
I. was simple repeal, and that it did not contain 
a renunciation of the principle, and did not pre- 
vent the revival of the right at any future period. 
He contended that the mere repeal of a declara- 
tory law, did not affect the principle, but left the 
law exactly where it found it ; and he insisted 
that the renunciation by England of her claim, 
was necessary for Ireland ; and that it became 
requisite to obtain legal security against the re- 
sumption of the right. Accordingly, on the 11th 
of June, he moved, with reference to the con- 
nexion of the two kingdoms, the following Reso- 
lution — " That a solid basis of permanent connex- 
ion does at present subsist between Great Britain 
and Ireland, inasmuch as they must by law have 
one common Sovereign ; and that the approbation 
of that Sovereign, under the Great Seal of Eng- 
land, must be had to any bill, before it can become 
law in Ireland." 

This proposition was opposed by Mr. Yelverton 
and Mr. Daly, and was superseded by the order 
of the day. Mr. Flood, however, persevered in 
his objection to the English Act, — and this idea 
was taken up in various parts of the country, and 
by his exertions he made it popular, and it soon 
became general. Some of the volunteer corps, 



and in particular those of Belfast, excited in no 
small degree by Lord Beaucharap, who spoke and 
wrote a good deal upon the occasion, applied for 
an Irish Bill of Rights as necessary. Others called 
for an express renunciation by Great Britain ; 
others for an Irish Act of Parliament. Accord- 
ingly, Mr. Flood on the 19th of July recapitulated 
the arguments ; — he said that the simple repeal 
did not renounce the principle — that nothing but 
a complete renunciation of it would satisfy — that 
legal security was necessary — that the repeal of 
the declaratory law did nothing — that it left the 
right just as before. He concluded by moving for 
leave to bring in a Bill declaring " the sole and 
exclusive right of the Irish Parliament to make 
laws in all cases whatsoever, external and in- 

Mr. Flood was only supported by three Mem- 
bers, Mr. English, Mr. Walsh, and Sir Samuel 
Bradstreet; and the motion was negatived with- 
out a division. 

Mr. Grattan then proposed a Resolution, stating 
that any person who maintained that Ireland was 
not independent, was inimical to the peace of both 
kingdoms. He, however, withdrew this, and 
moved " that leave was refused to bring in the 
Bill, because the sole and exclusive right of legis- 
lation in the Irish Parliament in all cases whether 
internally or externally, hath been already as- 
serted by Ireland, and fully, finally, and irrevo- 



cably acknowledged by the British Parliament." 
This Resolution was carried without a division. 

In the English House of Commons too there were 
not wanting individuals to avail themselves of this 
new popular ebullition in Ireland, or rather this 
delirium — men who had remained inactive when 
the rights and the liberties of the people were in 
danger, and who now sought to acquire popu- 
larity by finding fault with the measures of others, 
whom they had viewed sometimes with hostility, 
sometimes with jealousy, and never had cordially 
supported; men such as these now came forward, 
were very busy, and extremely loquacious ; — just 
as in battle, when the breach is made, every 
coward may enter, but his activity is generally a 
proof that the victory is won and the difficulties 
are over. 

The opposition, however, that came from an 
English quarter, bore the appearance of greater 
danger and more weight. It happened still more 
unfortunately for the restoration of that confidence, 
so much to be desired between the two countries, 
and so long wanted, that at this critical juncture 
the Earl of Abingdon should have come forward 
in the British Parliament, to submit a most im- 
prudent and mischievous proposition, as if " to 
embroil the fray by which he reigns" On the 
5th of July he asked for leave to bring in a Bill 
which he had already prepared, and which after 
a few words, he got the clerk to read from begin- 


lord abingdon's [chap. xiv. 

ning to end. The Bill was, in fact, his speech, 
probably prompted by others, who were afraid of 
avowing such doctrines, and who had induced this 
individual so to act. 

Lord Abingdon was an eccentric character. He 
was said to have been educated at Geneva, and to 
have imbibed there the principles of democracy. 
However this may have been, there were certainly 
no democratic principles apparent in his measure; 
on the contrary, it savoured most strongly of arbi- 
trary power; it asserted the very principle of 
legislation over Ireland, which England at that 
moment was surrendering ; it repealed (in prin- 
ciple at least) the Act of free trade, granted to 
Ireland a few years before, and it advanced the 
doctrine of external legislation as distinct from 
internal, which Mr. Fox had been most unjustly 
accused of maintaining, though he had in his place 
denied it. The Bill was nearly as follows : — It 
asserted the sole and exclusive right of Great 
Britain to regulate her external commerce, and 
that of all kingdoms and countries under her 
sovereignty, but not for purposes of revenue ; it 
stated that the kingdom of Ireland was under the 
sovereignty of Great Britain ; that the western 
seas, in which Ireland was included, formed part 
of the maritime empire of the kings of England ; 
that the Act of the 20th of the King, viz. to allow 
the trade between Ireland and the Colonies, &c. 
had taken the power out of the Parliament of 



Great Britain, where it of right belonged, and of 
right ought to remain, in manifest violation and 
open breach of the constitution, and vested it in the 
Parliament of Ireland. It further enacted that this 
Act, as far as relates to the taking of this power 
out of the Parliament of Great Britain, and vesting 
it in the Parliament of Ireland, was thereby re- 
pealed and rendered void ; and it stated that the 
meaning of the Act was to assert, in the Parlia- 
ment of Great Britain, the sole and exclusive power 
of external legislation ! 

Such was this extraordinary Bill. It was not, 
however, permitted to lie upon the table; but it 
produced its mischievous effect, and excited such 
discontent in Ireland, that the secretary, Mr. Fitz- 
patrick, was obliged to address a letter to Mr. 
Hutchinson, Provost of Trinity College, which he 
thought necessary to transmit to the Lord Mayor 
of Dublin, in order to allay the feeling of general 


Dublin Castle, July 22, 1780. 


Being informed, from many quarters, that the misrepresen- 
tations so generally circulated, relative to the supposed intro- 
duction of a Bill into the House of Lords in England, de- 
claring the right of the British Parliament to bind Ireland, 
in matters of external legislation, have created much un- 
easiness in many parts of the kingdom, and particularly 
amongst your respectable constituents, I must entreat 

352 lord abingdon's bill. [chap. xiv. 

your good offices in setting right a matter, the misconcep- 
tion of which may so materially injure the public service, 
by disturbing that harmony which is, I trust, fully and 
finally established between the kingdoms, the interruption 
of which cannot but be highly detrimental to the interests, 
happiness,and tranquillity of both. The report of the above- 
mentioned Bill having been suffered to lie on the table of 
the House of Lords, is wholly without foundation. It is 
true that the Earl of Abingdon did intimate a wish that it 
might be permitted to lie upon the table ; but, upon being 
informed that the proposition would be objected to, and 
there appearing no probability of his finding himself sup- 
ported by any noble lord in the House, his Lordship 
declined making any motion upon the subject, and conse- 
quently there appears upon the minutes of that day's 
business no traces whatever of the transaction. I have 
reason to believe that these were the motives that induced 
his Lordship to waive his intention ; but the facts of his 
having made no motion in the House, and the Bill not 
having been permitted to lie upon the table (as has been 
falsely represented) are unquestionable. I cannot but 
flatter myself that this matter, rightly understood, will 
cease to be an object of uneasiness to the public, naturally 
and most commendably jealous where they conceive their 
acknowledged rights exposed to danger,- and I am confi- 
dent that the anxiety of Ireland on this occasion may be 
more justly imputed to a laudable and zealous attachment 
to those rights than to any forward disposition of harbour- 
ing ill-grounded doubts of the honour and good faith of 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Richard Fitzpatrick. 



There were other circumstances, too, that ex- 
tended the general conflagration, and increased 
the alarm, and they were eagerly laid hold of by 
those who sought to inflame the people. 

It happened that at this time there was one 
case of appeal from Ireland remaining over in the 
Court of King's Bench in England, and two cases 
of appeal remaining for adjudication before the 
House of Lords. These, it was thought, could not 
be legally removed or sent back to Ireland, as they 
had been lying over in those courts before the Act 
of repeal had passed, and the delay and expense 
to the parties concerned in these legal proceedings 
would have been very considerable and highly 
inconvenient ; further, as no more appeals would 
be sent from Ireland, inasmuch as the Irish 
law had settled the point, no principle of judica- 
ture was likely to be brought into dispute. 
They were accordingly decided in the English 

All these untoward proceedings, which at any 
other time would perhaps have been disregarded, 
were attended by singularly bad consequences. 
They filled the Irish mind with doubt ; they 
awakened the most unfavourable suspicions as to 
the sincerity of England ; and they were quickly 
seized upon by a few envious persons, who called 
upon the volunteers to seek for additional securi- 
ties, and demand what they were pleased to call 
an express renunciation ; which was, in truth, a 





measure unworthy of one country to ask, and 
was certain not to be granted by the other. 

The Lawyers' Corps took up the question. 
They drew fine, legal, and unintelligible distinc- 
tions, and appointed a committee of nine, " to 
inquire and report in the ensuing November, 
whether any acts have been done by the British 
Parliament, whereby it must be deemed to have 
fully, finally, and irrevocably acknowledged the 
sole and exclusive right of the Irish Parliament 
to legislate for this country in all cases, as well 
external as internal." A committee was elected 

Mr. Fox had no idea whatever of retaining 
external legislation ; he gave it up in toto. No 
doubt he would have been glad to settle the 
legislative power as securely as possible ; but if 
he had intended to preserve external legislation, 
as it was called, he would not have proposed the 
prospective resolution which both Lord Charle- 
mont and Mr. Grattan knew was applied merely 
to commercial arrangements. The mere fact of his 
proposing such a resolution, showed that he had 
given up all idea of legislation ; and he in conse- 
quence declared,* that his intention, when he pro- 
posed the repeal of the declaratory Act, " was to 
give a full, complete, absolute, and perpetual surren- 
der of the British legislature, and judicial supremacy 
over Ireland." He added, that " since that time, 

* See the debate on December 19th, 1782, in the English House. 



an opinion had been propagated that renunciation 
was better than repeal ; but if Great Britain pro- 
ceeded by renunciation, it would be offensive to 
Ireland; for thereby England declared that she 
possessed the right ; and if the renunciation stated 
that it was a right which England never legally 
had possessed — that was a matter which England 
never could be brought to agree to ; so that the 
plan adopted was the best one." 

The truth was, that the Irish grew alarmed at 
all these proceedings; the people, long habituated 
to bad laws and insidious ministers, saw cause for 
suspicion in every thing; they thought that every- 
body meant to rob them — that England intended 
treachery in every measure ; and, astonished and 
dazzled by what they had got, they lost their 
wits, and began to doubt the value of their ac- 
quisitions. They had got much more than they 
had expected; they had got rid of the final judi- 
cature, and obtained a power to decide upon 
questions of property, instead of being subject to 
an English judicature, and to English judges, 
appointed by the Crown. Thus, by the excite- 
ment of this question, they vitally injured the 
cause of the opposition in Parliament, as well as 
that of their country ; for they made people think 
that the entire proceeding was merely a run for 
popularity: and they did not remain satisfied until 
they got their liberties under an English law, 
and in fact preferred a British statute to an Irish 

a a 2 



charter; for in the Act that the British Parlia- 
ment passed the ensuing session, the right of the 
people of Ireland to be bound only by laws 
enacted in that kingdom was declared to be 
established and ascertained for ever. 

This, Mr. Grattan justly observed, was making 
Ireland free with a vengeance ; and if this Act 
had been repealed, (which it might have been at 
any time), Ireland would have been left in a worse 
situation than before ; because the repeal of the 
law which gave Ireland liberty, left every thing 
uncertain. The truth was, it was a mere play 
upon words. Mr. Flood said, the repeal of the 
declaratory Act did nothing. Suppose the previ- 
ous question is put upon any motion in Parlia- 
ment; the House expresses in that case no opinion 
upon the merits. But if a negative is put on a 
motion, the affirmative is then set up. Take, as 
an instance, the vote of censure proposed by Mr. 
Fox, on Lord Sandwich, the First Lord of the 
Admiralty, in the time of Lord North. There the 
House, by its negative, set up the reverse of what 
Mr. Fox meant to propose. Repeal is abroga- 
tion ; the right was here set forth in the Act, 
and the repeal of the Act abrogated the right. 

In addition, therefore, to the other reasons on 
this point, a renunciation was the very thing that 
England would not consent to do ; she never 
would have consented to declare that her an- 
cestors were guilty of usurpation ; she would not 




stigmatise her lineage and her name ; and if there 
was one measure more than another that ought 
not to have been proposed to Ireland, situated as 
Ireland had been, and circumstanced as she then 
was, it was this very one. 

Besides this, the measure was not one isolated 
act ; it must be considered as forming one great 
transaction. The proceedings adopted by Lord 
Charlemont and Mr. Grattan threw the entire 
into the form of a treaty ; so that the country got 
national as well as legal security, and Parliament 
was put in covenant. 

The resolutions of the lawyers' corps stated that 
" the acknowledgment and disclaimer of the right 
ought to be conceived in terms as strong and clear 
as the utmost range of language could supply, and 
that the disclaimer of the principle ought to rest 
upon a solid foundation of express acknowledg- 
ment;" and they contended, consequently, that the 
repeal of the Declaratory Act of the 6th George I. 
did nothing. The answer to that was a question 
which, if fairly replied to, would settle the point. 
Did that Act contain the principle ? — if it did, 
and that the principle was repealed, the question 
was finally settled. 

Now, in the first place, the act asserted the 
dependency of Ireland. Secondly, it denied her 
final judicature ; it contained the principle of de- 
pendence, and this act was repealed altogether. 
Further it is to be observed, that the proceeding- 
was remarkable, not only for what was done, but 




for what was avoided; — for if the English Par- 
liament had declared that Ireland had been for- 
merly subject, and that now it be enacted that 
her independence should be granted, Ireland 
would then have taken her liberties under an 
English law ; and this would not only not have 
done what Ireland wanted, but would have done 
the very reverse : so that the proceeding was 
correct in what it avoided doing, as well as in 
what it did. 

The transaction was, in fact, a treaty between 
the two countries. First came the Resolutions of 
the Irish House of Commons, and the volunteers ; 
next, a message from the King of England to both 
Houses of the British Parliament ; next, the mes- 
sage of the King to both Houses of his Irish Par- 
liament ; next, the Declaration of Rights by the 
Irish Parliament ; next, their address to the King, 
setting forth the rights and the claim of Ireland; — 
then all submitted to both Houses of Parliament 
in England. Next came the English Act, repeal- 
ing the 6th of George I. ; and afterwards several 
Irish Acts repealing Poyning's Law, and regu- 
lating the transmission of Bills to Great Britain, 
and securing the final judicature to Ireland. 

Thus was formed a national contract, by which 
not only Parliament, but both countries were bound, 
and not merely by a statute of England or Ire- 
land, which would have been obligatory only on 
the Parliament of either country, but by a solemn 
treaty. It was, however, difficult to persuade 



the people of this; and if any stronger proof 
was required to show how ill that country 
had been administered, it was the extraordinary 
eccentricity of the public mind in Ireland, 
which, like a comet, started from its sphere, 
and brought in its wild train amazement as well 
as terror, and left behind it a track marked by 
singular appearances and lasting calamities. It is 
a useful lesson to politicians ; and when legislators 
hereafter turn over the page of history, they will 
behold in the proceedings of these times a strong 
argument against misgovernment, and learn how 
great a calamity it is to have so lost the affections, 
and so forfeited the confidence of the people, that 
in the moment of the utmost bounty they feared 
the hand that fed them. 

It was, however, difficult to persuade the 
people, puzzled as they were by lawyers, and 
perplexed by grave senators and the semblance 
of legal authorities. The logic of Mr. Flood — the 
Bill of Lord Abingdon — the pamphlets and pro- 
ceedings of Lord Beauchamp — the including 
Ireland in a British Act — the appeals in the 
English House of Lords; — and last, and not 
least, the adjudication in an English court of 
law by Lord Mansfield : — all these subjects ad- 
dressed to the pride of Ireland, debated and 
considered by men with arms in their hands, 
were of themselves almost sufficient to widen, 
instead of repairing, the breach between the two 
countries. Ireland had been so long used to 



English statutes, that she did not know how to 
act as a nation ; nor did the people perceive that 
the idea of giving legal security for Irish inde- 
pendence, was an absurdity in terms ; — for a statute 
does not bind Parliament, although it binds the 
people ; — whereas the law of nations and treaty 
binds both. So it was in the case of America. She 
was satisfied to proceed by treaty, and the binding 
acts of England were repealed of themselves ; and 
Mr. Franklin wisely said, in one of his letters on 
the subject, — " England may now pass what laws 
she pleases ; we do not any longer pay obedience 
to them ; we have done with them altogether." 
He did not, like the lawyers' corps, require 
u terms as clear as the utmost range of language 
can supply." Treaties do not depend solely upon 
words. Among the men of England who were 
prepared to fight for the Great Charter in the time 
of John, many, perhaps, could neither read nor 
write ; and the English Ministry well understood 
the Great Charter, and the laws of the Edwards, 
when they took away the liberties of Ireland. 
England was not worse off in the one case, nor 
was Ireland better off in the other. In truth, 
nations would have a very poor safeguard, if the 
security of their liberty depended upon the words 
of a dictionary ; and the Revolution of 1688 was 
effected in England, although the parties differed 
widely upon the terms in which to express the 
conduct of James II. Some contended for the 
word "forfeited" others for the word "abdicated 



and others again for the word " deserted." The 
parties were at a loss for the expression ; but they 
all concurred in the sentiment ; and the principle 
of that glorious Revolution survived the dispute 
about phraseology, and bade defiance alike to the 
censures of the critic, and the special pleadings 
of the lawyer. 

About the year 1818, at the time Sir Jonah 
Barrington was writing his "History of the Union, 99 
or, as he calls it, " the Rise and Fall of the Irish 
Nation," he applied to Mr. Grattan upon the sub- 
ject, and particularly in reference to the question 
of simple repeal. This at once revived the recol- 
lections of Mr. Grattan's younger days, and the 
political proceedings of that period ; and he ac- 
cordingly wrote to Sir Jonah Barrington the 
following letter. The arguments which he alludes 
to, and the speech of Mr. Flood, were published 
after his death, in one of the volumes of his 


" House of Commons, London, March 2, 1818. 

" My dear Barrington, 
" I am excessively sorry that your health has been 
impaired, and I hope it will be soon restored. 

" I will get you the Whig-club resolution. They 
proposed to obtain an internal reform of Parlia- 
ment, in which they partly succeeded ; they pro- 
posed to prevent an union, in which they failed. 




" The address that declared no political ques- 
tion remained between the two countries, had in 
view to stop the growth of demand, and preserve 
entire the annexation of the Crown. It was to us 
an object to prevent any future political discussion 
touching the relative state of the two countries ; 
because we might not be so strong as in that 
moment. And it was an object to us, and to the 
English minister, to guard against any discussion 
that might shake the connection to which we were 
equally attached. Fox wished sincerely for the 
liberty of Ireland without reserve. He was an 
enemy to an union, and wished the freedom to be 
annexed to his name. 

" The Act of Repeal was a part of a treaty with 
England. A declaratory act of title is the affir- 
mative of the existence of a former title ; the re- 
peal is a disaffirmance of any such former title ; 
the more so when accompanied by a transfer of the 
possession, viz., the transfer of the final judicature, 
and the legislation for the colony trade of the new 
acquired islands, made in consequence of a pro- 
test by Ireland against the claim of England. 

" The repeal was not any confession of usurpa- 
tion ; it was a disclaimer of any right. You must 
suppose what I have said, unsaid. A man of spirit 
may say that, but he will hesitate to unsay word 
by word. That was the case of England. She 
would not in so many words confess her usurpa- 
tion ; nor did she : on the contrary, when they 
pressed her, she exercised the power, and said, 



' The constitution of Ireland is established and ascer- 
tained* in future by the authority of the British 
Parliament.' It was proposed in the House of 
Commons to change the words, and say, recog- 
nized for ever. They agreed to the words 'for 
ever,' and refused the word ' recognized/ and 
kept in the word * established.' This I call making 
Ireland free with a vengeance. 

" I wish in your history you would put down 
the argument on both sides. I can get you Flood's, 
published by his authority. 

" I am excessively thankful for the many hand- 
some things you have said of me. 

" Yours most truly, 

k< Henry Grattan." 

This subject so much engaged Mr. Grattan's 
attention, even at this late period of his life, that he 
returned to it with almost all his wonted ardour, 
and consulted the great English authorities of the 
time, and submitted to them a statement of the 
question. Lord Erskine, Sir Arthur Piggott, and 
Sir Samuel Romilly communicated with him on 
the points formerly in dispute, and gave their 
opinion on the question of Simple Repeal — namely, 
that the course of proceeding adopted by Mr. Fox, 
Lord Charlemont, and Mr. Grattan, was the proper 
one, and decidedly the best for Ireland ; and that 

* The words in the Act of 1783 ; a most palpable blunder on the 
part of the diplomatists who concerted the measure. 



it had fully settled the question between the two 

In this contest, as in others which at a later 
period Mr. Grattan had with his countrymen, it 
is strange that he was so completely in the right. 
Perhaps it may have been the effect of accident, 
not wisdom ; but it is highly to his credit, that 
although emulative of popularity, and always 
connected with the popular party, yet he never 
would yield to the people, when he was convinced 
that they were mistaken. 

The lawyers' corps had, as already mentioned, 
appointed a committee to report upon the subject; 
and as it was thought that their opinion might 
naturally have much weight in the country, 
(though in fact the corps did not consist exclu- 
sively of members of that profession, but was com- 
posed of persons belonging to a variety of others,) 
some individuals — among whom were Mr. Yel- 
verton, Mr. Burgh, and Mr. Day — prepared a 
declaration* of their opinion on the subject, 
which was signed by the leading lawyers of that 
time. Mr. Chamberlaine and Mr. Smith sup- 
ported, however, the resolutions of the lawyers' 

* The author is indebted for this document to his kind and excellent 
friend Mr, Day : it is drawn up in his hand-writing, with the exception 
of the part by Judge Finucane. This worthy individual, the constant 
and attached friend of Mr. Grattan, whose name so often appears 
in this work, though now at the advanced age of 94, still retains all 
the impressions of a younger mind, and his early predilections in favour 
of his friend and his country. 


corps ; but they afterwards sat in Parliament, and 
proposed nothing by way of amendment. They 
were subsequently created judges, and declared 
that they were mistaken in their opinion on the 
question. The chief judges of the Courts coincided 
in the declaration ; and Lord Camden, in a private 
conversation with Mr. Grattan, made use of the 
following expressions — " It is folly talking of 
Simple Repeal — the business is done." 

Mr. Kenyon (afterwards Lord Kenyon) and 
Mr. John Lee, who were Attorney and Solicitor- 
General in England in 17B2, when the Bill passed, 
were consulted by Mr. Fox on the point ; and 
both these great lawyers gave it as their opinion 
that the Simple Repeal terminated all British 
jurisdiction over Ireland. 

Thus the Chief Justices of the three Courts — 
the two Judges, Chamberlaine and Smith — 
Judge Kelly — Yelverton — Crookshank — Wolfe — 
(afterwards Lord Kilwarden) — Duigenan — Finu- 
cane, and Day — together with the English 
authorities, Lord Camden — Lord Kenyon — Mr. 
Lee — Lord Erskine — Sir Arthur Piggott, and Sir 
Samuel Romilly — all agreed in opinion with Mr. 
Grattan, Lord Charlemont, and Mr. Fox. 


" Whereas the majority of the lawyers' corps have 
entered into and published certain resolutions, in 
which they have declared it as their opinion, ' That 


the British Parliament have not done any act 
whatsoever, whereby they must or can be deemed 
to have fully, finally, and irrevocably, or in any 
adequate manner acknowledged the sole and ex- 
clusive right of the Irish Parliament to legislate 
for this country, in all cases, as well external as 
internal :' We, the underwritten barristers, ap- 
prehending that the opinion of a corps, many of 
which are barristers, may be considered by the 
public as the sense of the bar of this kingdom, 
think proper thus publicly to declare that we do 
not concur therein, and that we are of opinion 
that the independence of the Irish Legislature 
hath been sufficiently asserted by the Parliament 
of Ireland, and fully and adequately acknow- 
ledged by the Parliament of Great Britain. 

Tho. Kelly. 

Ham. Stewart. Barry Yelverton. 

Wm. Caldbeck. John M'Mahon. 

Pat k . Duigenan. Alex. Crookshank. 

Rob. Day. Arthur Wolfe. 

Char. O'Neil. 

"In my opinion the claim of the British Parlia- 
ment to legislate for Ireland has been fully done 
away by the repeal of the statute of the 6th of 
George I. in England." 

" N.B. The above is the opinion and hand- 
writing of Matth w . Finucane, 





The following Extract from the Memoirs of 
Lord Charlemont, by his biographer,* Francis 
Hardy, may here be appropriately introduced, 
in explanation of the public feeling on the ques- 
tion that has just been canvassed : — 

" The conduct of numbers of my countrymen, 

*~ Francis Hardy was a most amiable, pleasing, and accomplished indi- 
vidual and firmly attached to liberty; he possessed the feelings of an 
Irishman, and the polished manners of the French ; he was fond of foreign 
literature, and his mind and conversation were formed on the best models. 
He was abroad with Mr. Grattan, and went with him to pay their devotions 
at the shrine of the beautiful Marie Antoinette. As they ascended the steps 
of the Tuilleries, some of the party were struck by the splendour of the gar- 
dens and the palace. — " Very fine" said Mr. Hardy, " but they want the 
Trial by Jury.'* For many years he participated in Mr. G rattan's society, 
residing close to Tinnehinch, when he wrote the " Memoirs of Lord 
Charlemont," and in a manner so greatly to his credit. He sat in Parlia- 
ment for a borough of Lord Granard's, and uniformly supported the rights 
and liberties of his country. His circumstances were very limited, but 
his heart never lost its national affections, and, at the Union, when Lord 
Castlereagh made such offers as quite astonished him, some of Mr. Hardy's 
noble acquaintance advised him to accept them ; for, as they said, the 
die was cast, and the union was certain to pass. But though Hardy saw 
and felt the distresses of his family, yet he preferred their honour and his 
own ; he spurned the offer, and left his children an honest name and ex- 
ceeding poverty. In 1806, when the Whig party came into power, he 
got the place of commissioner of appeals ; he enjoyed it but for a short 
time prior to his death ; the salary was small, bul it gratified, though it did 
not reward. He had succeeded a good and amiable man, Mr. Preston, 
who likewise often formed one of the circle at Tinnehinch. Preston was 
a poet, a politician, and a judge. It was said that he lost his life in 
consequence of a very long speech of Mr. Harry Dean Grady. The com- 
missioner sat with wet feet during the lawyer's interminable harangue, 
who, having spoken, it was said, for almost a whole day, sat down, saying 
that his legs were tired ! Poor Preston " caught a cold and died." — His 
friend Hardy succeeded him. 



amiable and excellent as they generally are, was 
at this time utterly unjustifiable. A mere differ- 
ence of opinion, on a point inconsequential, and 
even now almost forgotten, made them regard 
their best friends almost as monsters. All Grat- 
tan's services were thrown into oblivion. The 
favourite of the 16th of April, became in little more 
than two months, — indeed long before ''their 
shoes were old," in following him with loud 
acclamations, — one of the most unpopular men in 
the kingdom. The man of firm temper may 
laugh at all this ; but it cannot render solitude, 
or total absence from the political world, less 
supportable, to reflect that the persons who con- 
tributed most to this frenzy, were the very men 
who, for year after year, swelled every unpropi- 
tious vote against Ireland, and whose doors, 
barricadoed as if against the plague, could 
scarcely afford them security against the hatred, 
and almost legitimate fury of the people, who 
now applauded all that they said, and all that 
they did. Such are the extremes in a free state ; 
extremes to which liberty is nearly allied." 

On this subject, Lord Charlemont, in a letter 
to Mr. Hardy, feelingly expatiates :— 

" These instances of ingratitude shock me not 
a little. That a man who has given up his whole 
life to the service of his country — nay, has immi- 




nently hazarded that life by his activity in the 
cause, — whose endeavours have been crowned 
with success, — to whom principally we owe the 
blessing of liberty — that such a man should be 
maliciously defamed, and the scandal believed by 
many, is a baseness of ingratitude that surpasses 
all comprehension. Happy it is, that virtue in 
herself is a blessing, and that a good conscience is 
the greatest of all pleasures ; as the contrary is a 
curse, and a punishment, more excruciating than 
any tyrant ever could invent. The former of 
these will, at all events, be my friend's reward ; 
and the latter, if they be not callous, will well 
avenge him of all his enemies. For my own part, 
I have as yet been spared ; but, let what will 
happen, nothing shall make me deviate from the 
path I have hitherto pursued. Detraction may 
possibly injure my reputation ; though, even there 
I think I may defy it ; but it never shall take 
from me that first of all blessings, the consciousness 
that I am acting right, and to the utmost of us- 
abilities exerting myself in the service of my 
country. This may look like vanity ; but a 
proper pride in some cases is a necessary and even 
a virtuous quality.'" 

The same subject is pursued in another letter 
to Haliday, written some days after the preceding, 
and in both the moral and the philosophy are 
worthy to be admired. 


B B 


"Marino, August 17, 1782. 

" I have had a letter from our friend Harry,* 
dated Shrewsbury. He was then getting better, 
and writes in tolerable spirits. I am heartily 
glad that he is safe out of this pestilential atmo- 
sphere, and am certain that the change of air, and 
of scene, will do him more good even than the 
waters of Spa. To a delicate mind, popular 
ingratitude must be grating indeed. But what 
people were more apt to be ungrateful than the 
renowned Athenians ? Why, then, should I not 
flatter myself, that, together with this bad qua- 
lity of theirs, we may also have obtained some of 
their good ones — their spirit of freedom as well as 
their habit of discontent ? If we have gotten their 
levity, may it not be a certain symptom that we 
are in full possession of their liberty also ? You 
see that I am inclined to be in good humour with 
the world; a certain sign that tranquillity and 
the shades of Marino agree with me." 

On the first of July, the death of the Marquess 
of Rockingham took place, an event most unfor- 
tunate for his party, and for the country. He was 
a man universally respected and greatly deplored; 
as amiable in private, as he was independent and 
spirited in public life ; an accomplished man and 
a virtuous minister. Ireland owed him much, 

* Henry Grattan ; he had then set out on the journey to Spa. 



and Ireland sincerely regretted him. A new- 
administration was formed, partly out of the 
relics of the preceding, and partly with new- 
materials. Lord Shelburne, who had remained 
in office, was at the head, as First Lord of the 
Treasury ; Lord Grantham and Mr. Thomas 
Townshend came in as principal Secretaries of 
State, and Mr. William Pitt, the second son of 
the celebrated Earl of Chatham, succeeded Lord 
John Cavendish as Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
He had distinguished himself at this early period 
of his life (scarcely 23) by his motion in favour of 
reform, which he had made on the 7th of May, when 
he proposed an inquiry into the state of the repre- 
sentation of the people in Parliament, which was 
rejected by 161 to 141.* This was the ladder to 

* When speaking of this great character, it is impossible to pass over 
the singular and almost startling consideration, that of the two greatest 
questions of the age — the Reform in Parliament, and the Slave-trade — 
neither w as carried by Mr. Pitt, although he had been minister for upwards 
of twenty years — although he created numbers of members in one house 
— although he commanded still greater numbers in the other house — and 
although his sway was almost that of a sovereign, owing to the illness of 
George III. Having got into power on the question of reform, he forgot 
the principle ; and professing to be humane, he forgot humanity. It was 
not till the period of Mr. Fox's administration, in 1806, that the divine 
charter was passed, abolishing slavery ; neither was it till 1832 that the 
question of Reform in Parliament was carried, when Lord John Russell 
proved that he was true to his lineage. 

It is remarkable that in Mr. Wilberforce's life (he, too, was one of the 
chief patrons of the abolition,) it is stated that Mr. Pitt instanced the large 
division in the House of Commons in favour of the measure, as one of the 
fruits of the Union with Ireland, (what a censure on his own country!) 

B B 2 



his vaulting ambition ; by this he acquired instant 
and great popularity ; by this he climbed to power 
and eminence ; but having ascended, he spurned 
the means by which he rose, and never again re- 
assumed them. 

The Irish Parliament was prorogued on the 
27th of July, when the Duke of Portland stated 
in his speech, that " to settle the Constitution of 
Ireland on a secure foundation, and to unite its 
interest and affection with those of Great Britain, 
was the principal object of his administration ; and 
he was happy to learn that Parliament considered 
these objects as accomplished." Shortly after- 
wards, Lord Temple went over as Lord Lieutenant, 
with Mr. William Wyndham Grenville (Lord 
Grenville) as Secretary. Mr. Grattan's health 
had suffered considerably from his close attend- 
ance on Parliament; during the session he had 
been extremely ill, and at the close he did not feel 
restored, either in body or mind ; and the singular 
turn which affairs had now taken had considerably 
affected him — at one moment the idol of the 
people—in the next, the object of their distrust! 
But in all ages, and in all climes, it is the 

the majority of the Irish members having supported the principle of 
abolition. Such too was the case on the Reform in 1832 : the majority of 
the Irish carried the question, against the English and Scotch majorities. 
So just was the remark, " that in the breast of the people of Ireland the 
spirit of liberty will ever live." 

It is to be hoped that England will not prove insensible to the services 
rendered her by the sister country. 

CHAP. XlV.^j 



same — the same with princes — the same with the 
people : 

verso pollice vulgi 
Quemlibet occidunt populariter. 

Mr. Grattan was recommended by his physi- 
cians to try change of scene and air ; and accord- 
ingly he set out for Spa, to try the salubrious 
waters of that interesting and romantic country. 
He remained abroad for two months, and on his 
return through London, called on his old friend 
the Speaker, who was absent from town,- and with 
whom subsequently the following correspondence 
took place, upon the affairs of Ireland, — 


Loudon, Oct. 2, 1782. 

Dear Grattan, 
I shall take the first opportunity in my power of commu- 
nicating your ideas to such persons as I think able and 
w illing to make a proper use of them ; which, let me tell you, 
in the present state of parties, requires some penetration 
to find out. If I can believe those I converse with, things 
were never more unsettled than they are at present. Some 
of the ministry here are at open enmity with each other, 
and every body seems to distrust the head. The opposi- 
tion is not only able, but strong in numbers, and will cer- 
tainly be joined, unless some new arrangement takes place, 
by some now in office. The present minister, if he remains 
in office till the meeting of Parliament, with the forces 
immediately dependent upon Government, will out-number 
them ; but the connexions of Lord North are so extensive, 
and the opinion of his integrity such, that he can undoubt- 

* Afterwards Lord Pei v. 




edly give a decided majority on either side. Of this the 
minister is so well satisfied, that he takes every occasion of 
commending Lord North, as he did lately of condemning 
him. I am well informed that he made an offer to Lord 
North, of giving up his place to him, and of acting under 
him, which the latter declined. 

Lord North will certainly oppose all innovations on the 
constitution, whether supported by the minister or not. It 
is likewise said, and I think it probable, that he will sup- 
port the general measures of Government, but that when 
a fair opportunity offers of exposing the weakness of the 
minister, he will do it. This is the present appearance of 
things ; but a few days may entirely change the scene. I 
am told Lord Beauchamp intends moving something for the 
satisfaction of Ireland. He called upon me last week, but I 
was from home; and he is gone out of town. The fencible 
regiments seem to be disliked here, as much as in Ireland ; 
and it is generally believed they will be given up. Whose 
measure that was I know not ; I never heard of it till I 
saw it in the papers. I have reason to believe that the 
first information the present Lord Lieutenant had of it, he 
received by accident, upon the road to Ireland. Pray has 
his Excellency as yet formed any connexion, and with 
whom ? 

Every hour produces some new lie relative to Gibraltar, 
but nothing can be depended upon, except that it has been 
in part relieved by Lord Howe, and that five large ships of 
the enemy were disabled by the storm ; but even of this no 
official account has been received. 

Ever yours, 

E. Pery. 





London, Oct. 10M, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

I called on you before I left London, and wished to have 
spoken to you a few words, with regard to Ireland. 

Should Lord Abingdon introduce his Bill, or attempt it, 
might it not be wise in the ministry to reject it with the 
following: resolution : — 

" That the Bill was rejected, because the sole and exclu- 
sive right of the Parliament of Ireland to make law for 
Ireland, in all cases, had been, by the repeal of the 6th of 
George I., fully, finally, and unequivocally acknowledged, 
in order to come to a final adjustment with the Irish nation, 
and to put an end to all constitutional questions that 
might interrupt the harmony of both nations. "—This 
resolution would have a very good effect; and even though 
Lord Abingdon did not propose his Bill, I submit whether 
something of this sort ought not to be moved, for the fol- 
lowing reasons : — it would assert the sincerity of England, 
rebuke the suspicions to the contrary, assist the recruiting 
for the navy, and co-operate with the Irish Parliament, — 
which has, by asserting the sufficiency of what has been 
done, endeavoured to put a stop to the growth of requisition. 
Some conversation too in the Parliament of England, on the 
Irish subject, would, I should imagine, have a very good 
effect; and above all, in framing English Bills, it is of the 
last moment to avoid general terms that may seem to in- 
clude Ireland. 

1 was obliged to leave town sooner than I wished, or 
should have taken an opportunity of mentioning to some of 
the ministry, what I now mention to you, not as any thing 



we have a right to ask, nor as any thing necessary to our 
liberty, or satisfaction, but as a good explanatory measure 
to refute and silence faction. I shall not make any apology 
for this, but assure you that I am, 

With the greatest respect and regard, 

Yours most sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 


London, llth Oct., 1782. 

Dear Grattan, 
Upon my return to town, I found your letter of the 10th 
instant, and was much mortified at having missed you ; 
but my daughters inform me, that your looks are much im- 
proved, and that Spa has been of service to you. The 
measure you mention, I think would be a wise one, and 
probably prevent future inconveniences. I shall not fail to 
recommend it, when I see any prospect of success ; but at 
present, the state of the administration is so fluctuating, 
that I believe those who compose it think of little but 
their own preservation. When any thing happens on this 
side of the water which I think will interest you, you shall 
hear from me, and I request the like from you. 

Believe me to be, most affectionately, 

Edmund Pery. 


October 20, 1782. 

Dear Sir, 

I take the liberty to write again on the subject of Ireland. 
I could collect from Lord Charlemont, who had been 
North and South, that discontent had not in any shape 




reached the bulk of the country, and that the idea of re- 
nunciation was entirely given up. I should therefore ima- 
gine, that some principal men in Great Britain, by con- 
versation in Parliament, might considerably serve both this 
country and the Government. I could expect the greatest 
effect from a conversation to this purpose : that the par- 
liament of England, by the repeal of George I., had ac- 
knowledged the independency or the Irish Parliament,— 
an independency, under the authority of Great Britain, — 
while it effectually put an end to the claims of the latter, 
over the privileges of the former; — that Ireland now, in 
point of constitution, had nothing to ask of England, nor 
England to give ; — that therefore, from the nature of things, 
there was an end to the question, the more so, because the 
late settlement was a contract — on the part of England, 
acknowledgement of the right of Ireland — on the part of 
Ireland, satisfaction ; — that the question thus settled, is 
not now to be disturbed ; and that the distinction by some 
advanced in Ireland, that England would evade the force 
of the repeal, could not be attended to, being without any 
foundation in the nature of the transaction, or in the cha- 
racter of the English. 

I am sure this would do great justice to the sincerity of 
those who transacted the late settlement; and Government 
are, in my mind, not a little interested in maintaining the 
sufficiency of the settlement itself, and the character of 
those whose credit would give strength and authority to 
their support of administration. You know, Sir, what 
weight conversations in the British Parliament are felt to 
have in Ireland, and how easy it is for the British 

SELF, — at least to make others so. 

Lord Abingdon proves what mischief, — a ministry now 
may prove what good, — may arise from speeches in Par- 



[chap. XIV. 

liament ; and as we in Ireland have asserted the sincerity 
of the British Parliament, it is but natural that they should 
do so themselves. One would not forget to refute that 
charge of making a reserve of external, as distinct from 
internal, legislation. 

These ideas I have taken the liberty of submitting to 
you, who will have it in your power, as you always have it 
in your wish, to suggest many things very beneficial to the 
repose (for nothing can add to the liberty) of our country. 
Nothing more beneficial occurs to me than what I have now 
stated. I have in this a personal, as well as a public 
interest; and where both unite, am not ashamed of the 
former. A great transaction has been impeached on two 
grounds, — the insincerity of the British ministry, and the 
insufficiency of the Irish negociators. We have defended 
both. Let the Ministry do so likewise. They should see 
that they have a common interest in our cause and our 

When I mentioned that discontent had not infected the 
body of the people, I intended to say, with respect to the 
late settlement; for, with respect to the fencibles, there is a 
very general clamour, and violent authoritative resolutions. 

I shall, if any thing happens worthy your attention, 
acquaint you with it; and am, dear Sir, 

Yours most sincerely, 

Henry Grattan. 

These letters show the desire on the part of 
Mr. Grattan to satisfy all parties, and to guard 
against the legal quibble which had been started, 
and which merely served to excite dissatisfaction, 
and could not procure any farther security for 


the liberties of the country. The great national 
object had been fully accomplished ; but the 
alarms and fancies of sanguine and disappointed 
politicians required to be listened to, and claimed 
some portion of indulgence. Accordingly, in the 
ensuing Session of the British Parliament, the 
new Ministry introduced a measure, not, in fact, 
to give strength or validity to the transactions 
between the two kingdoms, but to compose the 
public mind, and allay the fears that had been 
raised in Ireland; though these latter were in re- 
ality founded on nothing more than mere technical 
distinctions, and a play upon words, as fanciful as 
fastidious. The Act, called a Renunciation, was 
in consequence passed in the ensuing year, but 
which, in Mr. Yelverton's opinion, left Ireland 
worse than before. The account of this will ap- 
pear hereafter. 

This first portion of the Life and Correspon- 
dence of Henry Grattan must here conclude ; nor 
can it terminate at a better period than that of 1782 
— the brightest passage in Irish history, and the 
commencement of the reign of Irish independence. 
Fortunate, indeed, would it have been for both 
kingdoms, if Ireland had been allowed to proceed 
onward in her undisturbed career, cultivating the 
blessings of harmony and peace. This was the wise 
advice that Mr. Yelverton and Mr. Grattan gave to 
their countrymen. But, as in the best medicines 



there is often a mixture of dangerous ingredients, 
so it proved to have been in this instance. Begin- 
ning with Simple Repeal, the people proceeded 
to the Rotunda Convention ; and a train of evils 
followed, that produced disastrous consequences. 
All that Ireland now wanted was repose. She had 
made great and unexpected acquisitions, both in 
trade and liberty, externally as well as internally. 
She had made a prodigious advance : she had ac- 
quired, in place of her ancient riot, order — she had 
imposed on her religious discord, silence. She had 
invoked the spirit of concord; she had preferred her 
claim of right with modesty; she had supported it 
with moderation ; she had obtained it. She rose at 
once in the scale of nations, in a manner that baffled 
all foresight, and astonished all calculation. The 
predictions of her enemies were falsified. She 
brought forth the fruit of national union, with a ra- 
pidity almost perceptible to the eye — instantane- 
ous and beneficial. Industry, trade, manufactures, 
commerce, began to be developed ; her vast re- 
sources expanded, her revenues augmented, her 
exports and imports increased, her lands were 
cultivated, and her mixed population — Protestant 
and Catholic — now overspread them. The Na- 
tional Bank was established, and new sources of in- 
dustry and wealth at length appeared. It was 
well observed, Ireland came forth as Minerva from 
the head of Jupiter — armed and full of wisdom. 




Such were the rewards of national concord 
— such the blessings of civil and religious li- 

And this fine workmanship, this national redemp- 
tion, was executed without a single national model. 
Ireland had no great charters thirty times con- 
firmed, as in England ; she had no baronial halls ; 
no ancient abbeys adorned with the images of a 
noble race, where the contemplation of their 
inanimate figures might rouse the drooping spirit, 
and brighten the glistening eye, and teach to 
the rising age the love of glory and honour. 
She possessed no " bold yeomanry, a nation's 
pride she could boast of no titled aristocracy, 
standing between the surge of democracy and 
the silent march of arbitrary power ; the temple 
of her constitution, so often violated, was not 
adorned by the tapestried* renown of free and 
unconquered ancestors. None of these fell to her 
lot. The victories in Ireland were always over 
her liberties. — But yet she possessed a brave 
and a fine people ; a kind and a generous gentry. 
Penalties could not corrupt, persecution could not 
depress, tyranny could not degrade. She trusted 
in her God that he would deliver her ; she trusted 
in her sons that they would uphold her. Her 

* The burning of the House of Lords destroyed this memento of 
British victory, the noblest of Lord Chatham's impassioned appeals. 


wrongs and her sufferings — patience, virtue, and 
justice — these were the powers that fought on her 
side — these were the weapons with which she arm- 
ed her youth ; — and, like the shepherd in holy 
writ, her son went forth, and overcame Goliath. 





Among the illustrious persons referred to in the exordium of the 
following speech,* as having, on former occasions, brought the 
state of Ireland before the House of Commons, Mr. Grattan 
stands the foremost, — whether we regard the history of his poli- 
tical life, and the great services which he rendered his native 
country, or consider only the very inferior subject of his rank as 
an orator. He it was, who chiefly, after the Union, supported 
the Catholic Question. When he entered the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, he bore a prominent part in all the discussions of it, and 
of subjects connected with it, in which the House he belonged 
to had been engaged, up to the period of his death in 1820. 

It would not be easy to point out any statesman or patriot, in 
any age of the world, whose fame stands higher for his public 
services ; nor is it possible to name any one, the purity of whose 
reputation has been stained by so few faults, and the lustre of 
whose renown is dimmed by so few imperfections. From the 
earliest years at which he could appear upon the political stage, 
he devoted himself to state affairs. While yet in the prime of 
youth, he had achieved a victory which stands at the head of 
the triumphs ever won by a patriot for his country in modern 
times ; he had effected an important revolution in the Govern- 
ment, without violence of any kind ; and had broken chains of 

* Speeches published by Lord Brougham. 



the most degrading kind, by which the usurpation and injustice 
of three centuries had bound her down. Her immediate grati- 
tude placed him in a situation of independence, which enabled 
him to consecrate the remainder of his days to her service, with- 
out the interruption of professional pursuits ; and he continued 
to persevere in the same course of patriotism, marked by a rare 
union of the moderation which springs from a combined wisdom 
and virtue, with the firmness and zeal which are peculiar to 
genius. No factious partisan, making devotion to the public 
cause a convenient and safe mask for the attainment of his selfish 
interests, whether of sordid avarice, or crawling ambition, ever 
found in Grattan either an instrument or an accomplice. No 
true friend of the people, inspired with a generous desire of ex- 
tirpating abuses, and of extending the reign of freedom, ever 
complained of Grattan's slowness to join the untarnished banner 
of patriotism. No advocate of human improvement, filled with 
the sacred zeal of enlarging the enjoyments, or elevating the 
condition of mankind, was ever damped in his aspirations by 
Grattan's coldness, or had reason to wish him less the advocate 
of Ireland, and more the friend of his species. 

The principal battle which he fought for his native country, 
required him to embrace every great and difficult question of 
domestic policy : for the misrule and oppression exercised by 
England over the Irish people, extended to all their commercial 
dealings, as well as to their political rights, and sought to fetter 
their trade by a complicated system of vexatious regulations, as 
well as to awe their legislators by an assumption of sovereignty, 
and to impose the fetters of a foreign jurisdiction upon the ad- 
ministration of justice itself. In no part of this vast and various 
field, were Mr. Grattan's powers found to fail, or his acquire- 
ments found deficient ; and he handled the details of fiscal and 
mercantile policy, with as much accuracy and as great address, 
as he brought to the discussion of the broader and easier — 
though more momentous question — the great question of Na- 
tional Independence. He was left, on the achievement of this 
great triumph, in the possession of as brilliant a reputation as 
man could desire ; and it was unsullied by any one act, either 
of factious violence, or of personal meanness, or of the inconsis- 
tency into which overmuch vehemence in the pursuit of praise- 



worthy objects is wont to betray even the most virtuous of men. 
The popular favour, which he enjoyed to so unexampled a de- 
gree, and in such unmeasured profusion, was in a short time 
destined to suffer an interruption, not unusual in the history of 
popular leaders ; and for refusing to join in the designs of a 
more than doubtful origin, of men inferior in reputation of every 
kind, and of a more than doubtful honesty — men, who pre- 
scribed, as unworthy of the people's esteem, all that acknow- 
ledged any restraints of moderation — he lived to see himself 
denounced by the factious, reviled by the unprincipled, and 
abandoned by their dupes, the bulk of the very nation whose 
very idol he had but lately been. 

The war with France, and the fear of revolutionary movements 
at home, rendered him for some years an alarmist ; and he joined 
with those who supported the hostilities into which Mr. Pitt, and 
the Portland seceders from the Whig party, unhappily plunged 
the empire. But he carried his support of arbitrary measures at 
home a very short way, compared with the new allies of the 
Government in England ; and the proceedings of the Irish 
Ministry, during and after the Rebellion, found in him an adver- 
sary as uncompromising, as in the days of his most strenuous 
patriotism, and most dazzling popularity. Despairing of success, 
by any efforts of the party in Parliament, he joined in the 
measure of secession adopted by the English Whigs, but after a 
manner far more reconcileable to a sense of public duty, as well 
as far more effective in itself, than the absurd and inconsistent 
course which they pursued, of retaining the office of Represen- 
tatives, while they refused to perform any of its duties, except 
the enjoyment of its personal privileges. Mr. Grattan, and the 
leaders of the Irish Opposition, vacated their seats at once, and 
left their constituents to choose other delegates. When the 
Union was propounded, they again returned to their posts, and 
offered a resistance to that measure, which at first proved suc- 
cessful, and deferred for a year the accomplishment of a measure 
planned in true wisdom, though executed by the most corrupt 
and corrupting means ; a measure as necessary for the well- 
being of Ireland, as for the security of the empire at large. He 
entered the Imperial Parliament in 1805, and continued, with 
the exception of the question upon the renewal of the war in 

c c 2 



1815, a constant and most powerful coadjutor of the Whig 
party ; refusing office, when they came into power, on Mr. Pitt's 
death ; but lending them a strenuous support upon all great 
questions, whether of English policy, or of Irish, and showing 
himself most conspicuously above the mean and narrow spirit 
that would confine a statesman's exertion to the questions which 
interest one portion of the empire, or with which his own fame 
in modern times has been more peculiarly entwined. 

Among the orators, as among the statesmen of his age, Mr. 
Grattan occupies a foremost rank : and it was the age of the 
Pitts, the Foxes, and the Sheridans. His eloquence was of a 
very high order, all but of the very highest ; and it was eminently 
original. In the constant stream of a diction replete with epi- 
gram and point— a stream upon which floated gracefully, because 
naturally, flowers of various hues — was poured forth the closest 
reasoning, the most luminous statement, the most persuasive 
display of all the motives that could influence, and of all the 
details that could enlighten his audience. Often a different 
strain was heard, and it was declamatory and vehement — or pity 
was to be moved, and its pathos was touching, as it was simple 
— or, above all, an adversary sunk in baseness, or covered with 
crimes, was to be punished or destroyed, and a storm of the 
most terrible invective raged, with all the blights of sarcasm, 
and the thunders of abuse. The critic, led away for the moment, 
and unable to do more than feel with the audience, could, in 
these cases, when he came to reflect and to judge, find nothing 
to reprehend ; seldom in any case more than the excess of epi- 
gram, which had yet become so natural to the orator, that his 
argument and his narrative, and even his sagacious unfolding of 
principles, seemed spontaneously to clothe themselves in the 
most pointed terseness, and most apt and felicitous antitheses. 
From the faults of his country's eloquence, he was, generally 
speaking, free. Occasionally an over-fondness for vehemence 
of expression, an exaggeration of passion, or an offensive appeal 
to Heaven, might be noted ; very rarely, a loaded use of figures, 
and, more rarely still, of figures broken and mixed. But the 
perpetual striving after far-fetched quaintness ; the disdaining 
to say any one thing in an easy and natural style ; the contempt 
of that rule, as true in rhetoric as in conduct, that it is wise to 



do common things in the common way ; the affectation of ex- 
cessive feeling upon all things, without regard to their relative 
importance ; the making any occasion, even the most fitted to 
rouse genuine and natural feeling, a mere matter of theatrical 
display — all these failings, by which so many oratorical reputa- 
tions have been blighted among a people famous for their almost 
universal oratorical genius, were looked for in vain when Mr. 
Grattan rose, whether in the senate of his native country, or in 
that to which he was transferred by the Union. And, if he had 
some peculiarity of outward appearance, — as a low and awkward 
person, in which he resembled the first of orators, and even of 
manner, in which he had not, like him, made the defects of 
nature yield to severe culture, — so had he one excellence of the 
very highest order, in which he may be truly said to have left all 
the orators of modern times behind — the severe abstinence which 
rests satisfied with striking the decisive blow in a word or two, 
not weakening its effects by repetition and expansion ; and 
another excellence, higher still, in which no orator of his age is 
his equal; — the easy and copious flowof mostprofound, sagacious, 
and liberal principles, enumerated in terse and striking, but 
appropriate language. To give a sample of this latter pecu- 
liarity would be less easy, and would occupy more space, but of 
the former, it may be truly said that Dante himself never con- 
jured up a striking, a pathetic, and an appropriate image in 
fewer words than Mr. Grattan employed to describe his relation 
towards Irish independence, when, alluding to its rise in 1782, 
and its fall twenty years later, he said, " I sat by its cradle — I 
followed its hearse." 

In private life he was without a stain, whether of temper, or 
of principle : singularly amiable, as well as of umblemished purity 
in all the relations of family and of society ; of manners as full of 
generosity, as they were free from affectation ; of conversation 
as much seasoned with spirit, and impregnated with knowledge, 
as it was void of all harshness and gall. Whoever heard him in 
private society, and marked the calm tone of his judicious 
counsel, the profound wisdom of his sagacious observations, the 
unceasing felicity of his expressions, the constant variety and 
brilliancy of his illustrations, could well suppose that he had 
conversed with the orator whose wit and whose wisdom enliglit- 



ened and guided the senate of his country : but in the playful 
hilarity of the companion, his unbroken serenity, his unruffled 
good nature, it would, indeed, have been a difficult thing to re- 
cognize the giant of debate, whose awful energies had been 
hurled, nor yet exhausted, upon the Corrys, the Duigenans, and 
the Floods. 

The signal failure of the latter, when transplanted to the 
English Parliament, suggests a reference to the same passage in 
the life of Mr. Grattan. Men were variously inclined to con- 
jecture upon his probable success ; and the singularity of his 
external appearance, and his manner of speaking, as well as his 
action, so unusual in the English Parliament, made the event 
doubtful for some time during his speech of 1805. Nor were 
there wanting those surrounding Mr. Pitt, who foretold " that 
it would not do." That great debater and experienced judge 
is said for some moments to have partaken of the doubts, — when 
the hasty execution of some passage, not perhaps marked by the 
audience at large, at once dispelled them ; and he pronounced 
to his neighbours an authoritative and decisive sentence, which 
the unanimous voice of the House and of the country forthwith 

This illustrious patriot died a few days after his arrival in 
London, at the beginning of June, 1820, having come with the 
greatest difficulty, and in a dying state, to attend his Parlia- 
ment duties. A request was made to his family that his remains 
might be buried in Westminster Abbey, instead of being con- 
veyed for interment to Ireland : and this having been complied 
with, the obsequies were attended by all the more distinguished 
Members of both Houses of Parliament. The letter containing 
the request, was signed by the leaders of the liberal party. The 
beauty of its chaste composition was much and justly admired 
at the time ; but little wonder was excited by it, when the author 
came to be known. It proceeded from the pen of one of the 
greatest poets whom this country has produced, as well as one 
of its finest prose writers : who, to this unstable fame, adds the 
more imperishable renown of being also one of the most liberal 
of men, and most uncompromising friends of civil and religious 
liberty, who have appeared in any age. The rare felicity of our 
times, in possessing two individuals to whom this description 



might be applied — Rogers and Campbell — alone makes it neces- 
sary to add, that the former is here meant. 

" Filled with veneration for the character of your father, we 
venture to express a wish common to us, with many of those who 
most admired and loved him, that what remains of him should 
be allowed to continue among us. 

u It has pleased Divine Providence to deprive the empire of his 
services, while he was here in the neighbourhood of that sacred 
edifice, where great men from all parts of the British dominions 
have been for ages interred. We are desirous of an opportunity 
of joining in the due honour to tried virtue and genius. Mr. 
G rattan belongs to us also ; and great would be our consolation 
were we permitted to follow him to the grave, and to place him 
where he would not have been unwilling to lie — by the side of his 
illustrious fellow-labourers in the cause of freedom." 

Extract from Vol. IV. p. 28, Brougham' s Speech on the Admi- 
nistration of the Laws in Ireland. 

" The late Mr. Grattan was certainly a party man. In the 
highest, truest, and most honourable sense, he performed what 
he justly considered the important duties of party : but of all 
Members on the Opposition side of the House, his authority is 
the most unexceptionable : because he undeviatingly observed 
the strictest accuracy in his details, and was little liable to the 
imputation of being carried away by enthusiasm. He was a 
man of singular candour and great moderation, and from his 
entrance into public life, to the close of his illustrious career, 
gave signal proofs of his moderation, of his extreme forbearance, 
nay, of his gentleness and his calmness, even in the tempests of 
factious times. He observed, on one occasion, " that the Go- 
vernment trifled with the Northern weaver, when it sent him to 
a grand jury and he added, that " the supineness and par- 
tiality of the magistracy had been the occasion of his sufferings 
and his losses.' 




1779, TO DECEMBER 1780. 


Dublin Castle, Sth June, 1779« 

My Lord, 

I have received the honour of your Lordship's letter of the 
1st instant, inclosing a copy of an address to His Majesty from 
the House of Commons, and His Majesty may be assured that 
the matter therein contained, shall be the immediate object of 
my closest attention. 

Your Lordship has already been acquainted that the Com- 
missioners of the Revenue require some time for the drawing up 
the papers expected from them upon this important occasion. 

My application to all the principal servants of the crown for 
their respective sentiments has also been mentioned ; but those 
sentiments will be delayed, and when given, stated very cau- 
tiously, except by the gentlemen who will probably recommend 
universal indulgence to the commerce of Ireland. 

Upon the whole, my private opinion is, that nothing short of 
permission to export coarse woollen goods, will in any degree, 
give general satisfaction. To this, however, it is necessary for 
me to add, that no encouragement to expectations of that 
tendency has been held out by me. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, 25th June, 1779. 

My Lord, 

I have mentioned to your Lordship at different times the applica- 
tions which had been made to me for arms for the use of the self- 
created troops and companies in this kingdom, and my determi- 
nation not to comply with such applications. Some of the most 
respectable noblemen of this kingdom, who are governors of 
counties, have since represented to me, that in case of an in- 
vasion, it would not be in the power of gentlemen in the country 
to defend themselves, the people in general having no arms, 
and that they must consequently be at the mercy of any ban- 
ditti who might choose to pillage, and have therefore requested 
that they may be supplied with arms from His Majesty's stores, 
to be deposited in barracks, and not to be delivered out but by 
the express order of the governors of counties. I must inform 
your Lordship that there are at this time in His Majesty's stores 
of Dublin, above five thousand new arms, and a further quan- 
tity is in hand, the whole of which will be wanted for the 
regular troops ; but there are also about 20,000 militia arms in 
perfect order. Had a militia been arrayed, a number of these 
arms, equal to that of the militia, would of course have been 
issued, and put under the direction of the governors of counties. 
I apprehend, as there has not been any array, it is not perfectly 
regular to place these arms in other hands ; yet upon such an 
emergency'as at present threatens, I submit, whether it might 
notj be justifiable and proper to lodge a number of them under 
the commanding officers in some of the principal towns in the 
southern parts of Ireland, in order, that if there should be imme- 
diate occasion for them, they might be there ready to be de- 
livered without delay. 

As this is a case of great delicacy and very different in its 
circumstances from the other applications for arms, and as upon 
my compliance with any of the applications in question, I 
must expect they will become general from every county in 
Ireland, I would not determine positively upon the matter, until 



such time as I should have an opportunity of stating it to your 
Lordship, and receiving directions for my conduct therein. 

I have the honour to be, &c, 



Dublin Castle, 30th June, 1779. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour of inclosing herewith to your Lordship, a me- 
morial which has been laid before me by Sir Lucius O'Brien, 
Bart., Knight of the Shire for the county of Clare, in the name 
and behalf of His Majesty's loyal subjects of that county, re- 
questing that the militia of that county may be arrayed, and 
that they may be supplied with militia arms, accoutrements, and 
ammunition ; and representing, that lest the distress of the trea- 
sury at this time may be any obstruction to a measure which 
appears to them so highly useful, he presumes to assure me on 
their behalf, that they will cheerfully defray every other expense 
which may be necessary on this account, between this time and 
the next session of Parliament. 

At the same time that Sir Lucius delivered this memorial to 
me, he informed me, that he believed this application would be 
followed by many similar ones from other counties, who would 
offer their services upon the same terms. 

I shall only observe upon this proposal, that if it should be 
accepted, it would lead to a general array of the militia through- 
out the whole kingdom, which would unavoidably bring on an 
expense His Majesty's revenue is at this time unable to support, 
and that by the present subsisting Militia Act, I apprehend it 
would take several months before the necessary proceedings 
could take place for establishing a militia. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin, 27th June, 1779. 
May it please your Excellency, 
His Majesty's loyal subjects of the county of Clare, alarmed at 
the general danger of the British empire, and desirous of testi- 
fying by their actions, their zeal for His Majesty's government 
and the public service, humbly request your Excellency may be 
pleased to call out the militia of their county. 

And lest the distress of the Treasury at this time may be any 
obstruction to a measure which appears to them so highly use- 
ful, if your Excellency will be pleased to appoint their officers 
and to order for them militia arms, accoutrements, and ammu_ 
nition , I presume, on their behalf, to assure your Excellency, that 
they will cheerfully defray every other expense which may be 
necessary on this occasion, between this time and the next 
session of Parliament. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Lucius O'Brien. 


Dublin Castle, Oct. 25, 1779. 

Dear Sir, 

The extreme hurry I have been in for some time, has left me 
long your debtor, for several letters, you have been so kind as 
to write to me, and, indeed, our business has gone on so very 
disagreeably, that I could have no satisfaction in communicating 
it to you. 

The general distress of this country, as well that of the 
public, as of individuals, rendered it absolutely necessary in the 
opinion of those my Lord Lieutenant consulted, to go as far as 
possible in framing the Address to his Majesty. By the manner 
in which it was received, it appears that the expectations of this 
country are upon the subject of commerce; so that no person 
would venture to state what concessions might be satisfactory to 
Ireland, short of a free trade, as they call it ; for, in truth, the 
terms have no express meaning. My Lord Lieutenant, therefore, 
has not found it in his power to state officially to Lord Wey- 
mouth, any tiling upon this subject, since transmitting the opinion 
he had collected upon it. There has, however, been put into 



his hands, by the Speaker, a paper, of which the enclosed is a 
copy, and which his Excellency has directed me to transmit to 
you, for the information of Lord Weymouth. Repealing the 
restrictions mentioned in this paper, would give Ireland the 
export of its woollens, and the export and import to and from 
the British plantations. And from what can be learnt of the 
opinions of those who are of most weight here upon such sub- 
jects, there is but little doubt, if these acts were repealed, 
Ireland would be satisfied, and that the affections of this coun- 
try would be secured to Great Britain. How far the immediate 
import of all articles from the plantations would be prejudicial 
to Great Britain, is for consideration there; but when I was in 
London, the West India merchants seemed to have no objections 
to the direct import of sugars from the West Indies to Ireland ; 
and with respect to woollens, it is certain that they have been 
constantly exported from hence, and will be again exported, 
whenever there shall be a peace, it being impossible for the 
officers of the revenue to prevent it. This being a fact, there 
seems little doubt that their woollens, being legally exported, 
cannot be more prejudicial, to say the least of it, to Great 
Britain, than the illicit practice of smuggling them out. 

At the same time, the jealousy of the people of England, with 
respect to their woollens, and the heavy taxes it is necessary to 
impose upon them, may make it difficult for Government to 
carry the measure, unless the resolutions of the people of this 
country, to wear their own manufactures, should be found more 
prejudicial to the woollen trade of Great Britain, than the 
exportation contended for by Ireland. 

I am, &c. 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, Oct. 25, 1779. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour of enclosing herewith, for your Lordship's 
consideration, a paper stating the very lowest sum necessary 
for defraying the arrears, which will become due at Christmas 
next, and the estimated deficiency up to Lady-day, 1781, with 



a plan for raising this sum, together with a state of the taxes 
which it is thought advisable to propose, in addition to the pre- 
sent loan funds. This sum will, it is apprehended, leave a great 
arrear at Lady-day, 1781, as will appear from the states left 
with vour Lordship, by Sir Richard Heron. 

I did intend to have placed some additional taxes for increas- 
ing the revenues at large, which are so inadequate to the 
establishments and expenses of Government, but find that 
measure would be impracticable in the present state of the 
kingdom ; and if Great Britain shall gratify Ireland in the 
extension of her commerce, perhaps that measure must be 
accompanied with duties upon the new articles of commerce to 
this kingdom, which may be applied towards supporting his 
Majesty's establishments. 

I have some reason to believe the lottery will be filled here by 
private subscription ; but if your Lordship had not been so con- 
siderate as to comply with my representations, that Ireland 
might raise by lottery a part of the large sum wanted, it would 
have been absolutely impossible, however ready the Parliament 
might be to grant the sum, to have procured it at any rate of 
interest; the general impression of the poverty of this king- 
dom, and its being threatened with an invasion from France, 
deterring all persons from negociating with us for the loan of 

With respect to the taxes mentioned in this paper, which 
were submitted to your Lordship, by Sir Richard Heron, when 
in England, except the increased duties upon wines and tobacco, 
their produce will not, with the subsisting loan duties in their 
present fallen state, be so ample as could be wished, for pay- 
ment of the annuities, and the whole interest of what will, with 
this new sum, be the debt of Ireland. 

It has, therefore, been proposed here, to lay a duty of \d. per 
pound on hops, if the Parliament of Great Britain could be 
prevailed upon to continue the drawback, given by the 9th of 
Anne, c. 12, of the excise of Id. per pound on all hops exported 
to Ireland, which drawback, by the 6th Geo. I., c. 11, was 
repealed for the express purpose of raising a revenue to Great 
Britain, upon the consumption of Ireland, which is complained 



of here, as Ireland is compelled to use no hops but of the 
growth of Great Britain. 

This duty, it is computed, would produce about 6,300/. 
a-year. It is also hoped that the Parliament of Great Britain 
will give to this kingdom the produce of its own posts, which, 
upon the supposition the privilege of franking shall be abolished, 
will amount to about 20,000/. a-year. These sums would be 
ample for the loan duties. 

At the same time that I mention new taxes to your Lordship, 
I must repeat the apprehensions I expressed in my official letter 
to Lord Weymouth of the 18th inst., that if in the present dis- 
position of the House of Commons and of the nation, the giving 
to Ireland an essential extension of her trade and commerce, 
should be found inconsistent with the interests of Great Britain, 
the Parliament here will not grant any new duties, but will 
attempt to appropriate a part of the old additional duties, now 
belonging to his Majesty's revenues at large, to the loan fund, 
and will be disposed to proceed to very strong measures for the 
reduction of the establishments. For as the present establish- 
ments, and expenses of Government, so greatly exceed the 
revenues applicable to them, many people will, in the very dis- 
tressed state of the kingdom, endeavour to equalize them by 
reduction. This cannot be effected, without going upon the 
military establishment ; a measure, in the present state of this 
kingdom, in the highest degree exceptionable. 

As it is most probable that a tax upon absentees may be pro- 
posed, when the subject of taxes is mentioned in the House of 
Commons, I wish to receive his Majesty's directions how to act 
upon the occasion. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, Dec. 1, 1779. 

My Loud, 

The House of Commons having, upon the 24th past, come to a 
resolution that it was inexpedient, at this time, to grant any new 
taxes, and having upon the 2.5th, limited the Loan Bill to six 
months, the gentlemen who carried the last measure, signified 
their intention of transferring some of the new additional duties, 
hitherto granted to the revenue at large for increase of the loan 
fund, which would, after the 350,000/. is borrowed, be deficient 
to pay the interest of the debentures, and life annuities, by about 
50,000/. a-year*. As this measure respected his Majesty's reve- 
nue, I thought it right to take the advice of his Majesty's 
confidential servants, for my conduct upon a question of such 
importance. I accordingly summoned a meeting at my apart- 
ments in the Castle, at which were present — 

The Primate, Attorney-General, 
The Chancellor, Solicitor-General, 
Archbishop of Dublin, Mr. Clements, 

Archbishop of Cashel, Mr. Burton, 

Lord Annaly, Mr. Foster, 

The Speaker, Mr. Mason. 

Lord Chief Justice Paterson, and the Chief Baron, were pre- 
vented attending by their business in the Courts ; Mr. Beresford 
was detained at home by illness ; and the Provost sent his 

At this meeting, the question under consideration was fully de- 
bated ; it was, on the one hand, thought exceptionable, to transfer 
taxes granted for the support of the expences of his Majesty's 
Government, as it might be easier to continue the taxes for their 
present purpose, than to prevail upon the Parliament hereafter to 
grant new ones in their room. On the other hand, the necessity 
of supporting public credit, at a time when 350,000/. was to be 
borrowed for the urgent occasions of Government, was apparent, 
and it was thought this credit, which might have already been 
shaken, by the Loan Bill being limited to six months, would be 
so hurt, as to disable Government from raising the 350,000/. 



if the funds for discharging the interest and annuities were 
suffered to remain so glaringly deficient. And it was at the 
same time evident, that the gentlemen who had carried the 
measure of limiting the Loan Bill to six months, as well as many 
gentlemen who, out of regard to public credit, had voted against 
that measure, would all vote for this transfer. 

Upon these grounds it appeared expedient, that the Resolu- 
tion for applying the several Duties, should be mentioned to the 
House, in the same manner as in the last Session; and that if an 
Amendment should be proposed for transferring those Duties to 
the Loan Fund, the sense of the House should be seen, previous 
to the Resolution being formally moved, in order that it should 
appear an original, and not an amended Resolution ; and that 
should it appear to be the general sense of gentlemen to have 
the Amendment carried, Government should acquiesce, rather 
than force a division, which was certain of being carried against 
them, upon a question of so much delicacy. 

Accordingly, Mr. Foster, yesterday, previous to his reading 
the Resolution to grant the additional Duties in support of the 
expenses of his Majesty's Government, informed the House he 
should propose it in the usual manner, and desired, if this was 
objected to, he might hear what gentlemen had to offer against 
it. Upon which, Mr. Daly declared his intention of proposing 
an Amendment, to transfer part of the new additional Duties, 
granted in 1773, to the Loan Fund. Mr. Attorney-General 
spoke against the Amendment, and strongly supported the Re- 
solution as proposed by Mr. Foster. He was answered by Mr. 
Brownlow, Mr. Daly, Mr. Grattan, and many other gentle- 
men, who called upon Mr. Foster for his sentiments. Mr. 
Foster said, that as the additional Duties had been granted in 
support of the expenses of his Majesty's Government till the 
25th of December next, when a half-year's interest upon the 
loans and tontines will become due ; and as the next payment 
would not take place till the 24th of June, 1780, before which 
time, the reconsideration of the Revenue would come before the 
House ; he could see no reason for disappropriating the funds 
from the purposes for which they were originally granted. If, 
however, it was the sense of the House, that the creditors of the 
nation might be alarmed by the deficiency of the Loan Funds, 



which, by the agitation of the question, might be the case, he 
would not oppose a measure which had for its tendency the 
support of public credit. 

Very little being offered against the Amendment, Mr. 
Attorney-General declared, that though he was in opinion 
strongly against the measure, he did not think it right that there 
should be a division upon such a question. 

The Provost then rose to oppose the Amendment, and pro- 
posed, that an additional vote of Credit should be given, to make 
up the deficiency in the Loan Fund, to the 24th of June next. 
This was strongly objected to, and many gentlemen again 
speaking in favour of Mr. Daly's Amendment, the Provost with- 
drew his objections, and the House appearing unanimous, it 
was moved as an original Resolution ; — That, in addition to the 
usual Duties granted for support of the Loan Fund, all the 
Duties granted in 1773, in aid of the revenues at large, and 
calculated to produce 67,800/. a-year, should be transferred to 
the Loan Fund, except the Duties upon Wines, which were 
estimated at about 13,000/. a-year. 

Many gentlemen think this transfer for the benefit of Govern- 
ment, as it would assist in raising the 350,000/., so exceedingly 
wanted ; and a full Loan Fund, which will be the case when the 
revenues rise, facilitates the borrowing of money. And with 
respect to the revenues at large, they would have been so de- 
ficient, even with the Duties now transferred, that it will be 
impossible for li is Majesty's Government to be carried on, 
unless this kingdom shall receive such satisfaction in the article 
of her commerce, as shall induce the Parliament to grant new 
and large taxes. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



D D 



State of the Arrears at Lady-Day, 1779, and Estimate of the 
Deficiency to Lady-Day, 1781 ; together with a plan to 
provide for their discharge, and a Scheme of Taxes for the 
increase of the Loan Fund. 

The national accounts of Ireland are made up every two years, 
to the 25th of March preceding the Session of Parliament ; 
and the arrears remaining unpaid on the 25th of March last, 
on the several establishments, and other charges of Govern- 
ment, comprised under the general title of Extraordinaries, 

amounted to £373,706 13 §| 

But in the providing for Arrears, credit is 
always taken for the balances in the Trea- 
sury, and Collector's hands, with the 
Poundage and Pells on those balances, 
although the application of the one would 
leave the Treasury pennyless, and the other 
does not consist of money immediately 
forthcoming. These balances, on that day, 
amounted to £253,286 3 7J 

The sum of £120,420 9 ll£ 
will be necessary to enable Government, with their aid, to dis- 
charge the whole. 

Besides this, a very large additional arrear will have been 
incurred from thence to Christmas next, when the present grants 
of Duties will cease. 

It may soon be ascertained, with tolerable precision, to the 
29th of September last, but can only be estimated for the 
Quarter ending at Christmas next; and, it is probable, it will 
exceed 200,000/. ; making in the whole 320,000/., necessary to 
be borrowed, in order to make up the deficiency of the present 

This sum is proposed to be raised in part, by a lottery for 
200,000/., the prizes to be paid in debentures, carrying an 
interest of 41. per cent., and partly by the issuing of bills, in the 
nature of Exchequer bills, carrying a like interest, and to be 
paid in the next Session of Parliament. 

After the raising of this sum, the charge on the Loan Duties 
will exceed their produce, taken at an average of their two last 
years' produce, in the annual sum of near 50,000/. 



Annual charge : — 

£1,017,600 due by debentures, at 4 per cent. £40,704 

440,000 annuities, at 6 per cent. . 26,400 

300,000 ditto at 7J ditto . 22,500 

320,000 to be raised, at 4 ditto . 12,800 


Expence of paying annuities in London, about 1000 

Annual produce . 54,441 15 0| 

Deficiency . . £48,962 4 11^ 

To provide for which deficiency, additions must be made to 
them by new duties, estimated to produce, at the least, above 
50,000/. annually. But further additions must be given, to 
provide, in some sort, towards the probable deficiency of the 
revenue in the next two years. 

And if we suppose the establishments to continue as they now 
are, and the extraordinaries to amount to the same as in the 
last two years, and the revenues to equal the last two years' 
produce, that deficiency will appear to be near 300,000/. an- 

Civil establishment for two years . £335,091 8 2 
Military ditto ditto . 1,021,195 16 

Extraordinaries ditto . 432,474 3 

1,788,761 7 8| 

Hereditary revenue for two 

years, net . . 668,123 14 10J 
Additional duties, and new 

additional duties .480,921 1 10£ 
Stamp duties . . 28,787 16 1 
Poundage and pells on the 

above . . . 35,335 

1,213,167 12 101 

Deficiency . £575,593 14 10 
D D 2 



It would be impracticable in the present situation of this king- 
dom, even with the warmest concurrence of Parliament, to create 
new taxes, equal to answer the deficiency, and it would be im- 
possible to raise the whole by loan. 

Part of it only is therefore proposed to be provided for by a 
second lottery in the next year, of 200,000/. ; a small part may 
be provided by a further power of issuing Exchequer Bills, and 
the remainder must depend on the hope of the revenues rising 
beyond the low estimation here made of them, and of the public 
affairs admitting a considerable decrease of expense during some 
part of that period. 

When it is considered that 466,000/. was borrowed in the 
last session, and that near 600,000/., will be, as thus proposed, 
borrowed in this session ; in the whole, above a million added to 
the National Debt in the course of two sessions, and that after 
so rapid an increase of debt, there is the prospect of a growing 
annual deficiency of near 300,000/., it is to be expected that 
every person will be alarmed, unless there shall be a prospect 
of preventing this increase of the debt, by a very large reduction 
of expences, or an effectual extension of trade. 

A state of the taxes proposed for increasing the Loan Duties 
in Ireland. 

Additional Stamp Duties £12,000 

An Additional Duty on all Goods, except Wine 

Imported after the rate of 61. per cent. . . 24,000 
An Additional Duty on all Wines Imported at 

4/. 6s. per ton 21,000 

N.B. Wine now pays 20/. 14s. per ton, net. This 

Duty will therefore bring the whole to 25/. per 


An Additional Duty of Is. on all Raw and Un- 

tanned Hides exported . . . . v 3,000 


An Additional Duty of \d. per lb. on Tobacco has 
been proposed, but it is much doubted whether, 
considering the advanced prices of Tobacco, this 
Duty would be productive, although it has been 
computed at 15,000 




St James s, \st Dec. 1779. 

My Lord, 

As one of the principal objects of my attention on coming into 
my office, was the critical and alarming state of Ireland, 1 have 
carefully read the several letters that have passed between your 
Excellency and Lord Weymouth upon that subject. 

I observe that, on the 18th of May last, it was strongly re- 
commended to your Excellency " to direct your most serious 
thoughts to that important matter, and to transmit your opinion, 
together with such information and materials as might lead to 
the forming of a proper judgment on a point of such serious 
concern as the welfare of the kingdom of Ireland." 

On the first of June His Majesty's pleasure was signified to 
your Excellency, that you should make this important subject 
the immediate object of your closest attention. 

In consequence of these requisitions, your Excellency writes 
on the 27th of May, that you had communicated the Address of 
the House of Lords to several persons of the first rank and con- 
sequence in Ireland, and desired them to deliver their senti- 
ments and opinions to your Excellency in writing thereupon, 
and that you had also made the same communication to the 
Commissioners of His Majesty's revenue, desiring them imme- 
diately to take the important matter into their consideration, 
and prepare, and lay before your Excellency, to be transmitted 
for the information of the House of Lords, such states of the 
trade and manufactures of Ireland, as would show in what par- 
ticulars and proportions they have declined, with their opinion 
of the causes thereof, and how the same might be best remedied, 
together with all such materials as might enable their Lordships 
to form a proper judgment on a point of such high concern, as 
the welfare of the kingdom of Ireland. 

On the 8th, 16th, and 23d of June, and on the 4th and 12th 

* Lord Weymouth had retired from the office of Secretary of the Home 
Department, and was succeeded by the Earl of Hillsborough. 



of July, your Excellency transmitted the several sentiments and 
opinions, as given to your Excellency in writing, of the great 
and considerable persons before mentioned, together with a copy 
of the Report of the Commissioners of the Revenue, and twelve 
inclosures referred to in the said Report. 

The Report and its inclosures are very material, and contain 
much useful information on this important subject ; but I cannot 
conceal from your Excellency, that I felt myself much disap- 
pointed in finding that in so long a time as from the 12th of 
July last, to the month of November, all correspondence between 
your Excellency and my office has subsided, upon a subject so 
interesting to the peace and welfare of both kingdoms ,* nor has 
your Excellency, from the first communication of the Lords' 
Address to this time, offered any opinion of your own on this 
weighty consideration ; although I doubt not that you have 
applied yourself closely to it, and taken every method to enable 
yourself to form one, the communication of which, and the 
materials on which it is founded, could not fail of being very 
important to the king's servants, in a discussion of matters of so 
delicate and difficult a nature. 

The several circumstances that have since intervened, make 
that opinion and those materials still more desirable; and I have 
His Majesty's commands to instruct your Excellency to convey 
to me, for His Majesty's information, your opinion on the 
several points which it may be proper to concede to Ireland, in 
order to relieve that kingdom from its present difficulties, pro- 
mote the industry of its inhabitants, restore tranquillity, and 
confirm and increase that loyalty and affection to the king's 
person and government, which have so long distinguished the 
subjects of that kingdom. Your Excellency will at the same 
time have in your contemplation, the effects which the con- 
cessions proposed may have upon the interests of this kingdom, 
which must be equally the object of that paternal care and 
solicitude which his Majesty extends to every part of his do- 

I am, &c. 





Dublin Castle, Dec. 9. 1779. 

My Lord, 

I received the honour of your Lordship's letter of the 1st instant, 
and would not delay one moment to return my answer to the 
several matters of importance therein contained. 

And first, I beg leave to acquaint your Lordship, that having, 
in consequence of Lord Weymouth's letter of the 18th of May 
last, directed my serious thoughts to the important matters 
therein mentioned, I transmitted to his Lordship, in various 
dispatches to the 12th of July, every material, and every infor- 
mation, which occurred to me as being in my power to obtain, 
and which, I thought, would lead his Majesty's ministers to the 
forming a proper judgment of the commercial distresses of this 
kingdom, together with the general sentiments of the best in- 
formed and most understanding persons upon the subject. 

I must further observe, that Lord Weymouth having informed 
me, in his letter of the 18th of May last, that he trusted he 
should soon be enabled to write to me fully upon the subject, 
and not having had the honour of hearing further from him 
thereon, I naturally concluded his Lordship's silence arose 
from the materials 1 transmitted having been found sufficient 
and satisfactory to his Majesty's servants. 

To this supposition, and to my not having received any sub- 
sequent information of sufficient authority for me to communi- 
cate, your Lordship's candour will attribute the chasm of 
correspondence alluded to between your office, and the Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland. And your Lordship will have observed, 
that the several letters between the 1st of June and the 12th of 
July, mentioned by your Lordship, were written by me since the 
last which I received from Lord Weymouth upon that subject. 

As to the not having offered any opinion of my own, I beg 
leave to add, that after having transmitted every material which 
might enable me to form one, it remained for me to wait the 
hearing more fully from Lord Weymouth, agreeably to the 



expectations conveyed in his letter, before I could pretend to 
advance any sentiment, except such as must obviously have 
occurred to his Majesty's servants upon reading those materials. 
But difficult and delicate as it is, I must give it as my opinion, 
that an effectual extension of trade is essential to restore tran- 
quillity, and relieve the distresses of this kingdom, and that the 
whple of that extension should be made at once. The great and 
considerable benefits expected to operate most immediately upon 
the freedom of trade desired by Ireland, would be the power of 
exporting woollens to all the world except Great Britain, and 
the direct import and export of all commodities to and from the 
plantations. As to all other points desired by Ireland, in their 
addresses for a free trade, it is represented to me, that their 
effects would neither be very considerable nor immediate, and 
consequently little likely to interfere with the commerce of Great 
Britain. I submit it, therefore, supposing these assertions are 
founded, whether, if the Parliament of Great Britain shall think 
proper to open the woollen and plantation trade to Ireland, it 
would be advisable to retain the restrictions in those other 
points, the removal of which would fill up the measure of the 
demands of Ireland. 

In regard to the effects which such measures may have on the 
interests of Great Britain, my absence from that kingdom, and 
total want of every document and information which must be 
furnished by persons there, deeply conversant in its trade and 
manufactures, render me very unequal to the task of deciding 
how far her commerce might be affected by the extension of that 
of Ireland; yet, I will venture to say, that her loss by indul- 
gence must be very considerable, to counterbalance that which 
she must incur, from the indisposition of Ireland, consequential 
to the continuance of the present restrictions. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





St. James 's, Dec. 25, 1779. 

My Lord, 

I am to acquaint your Excellency, that a proclamation will be 
forthwith issued here, in consequence of an order of his Ma- 
jesty in council, offering a reward for the apprehending and 
convicting any persons that shall convey arms, ammunition, pro- 
visions, or any other aids to the enemy ; and it is his Majesty's 
pleasure, that your Excellency and council in Ireland do cause 
a like proclamation to issue in that kingdom. I will not fail to 
transmit to your Excellency the order of council, for your 
guidance herein, as soon as I receive it from the council office. 

Inclosed I send you, for your Excellency's information, a 
copy of a second letter of intelligence, from Mr. Gordon, rela- 
tive to the contract for provisions with Messrs. King and 
Cormack, of Cork, and I am confidentially informed, that the 
value of the provisions contracted for amounts to no less a sum 
than 60,000/. sterling. It will easily occur to your Excellency, 
that the present critical situation of Ireland renders it difficult 
to his Majesty's servants here to determine upon any measures 
to be taken, in order to prevent this important and dangerous 
supply from being conveyed to the enemy. I have it, therefore, 
in command from his Majesty, that your Excellency should take 
the most effectual means to that end, which may be adopted 
with prudence at the present time, and made consistent with the 
important political considerations which you must not for a 
moment lose sight of ; and I doubt not that your Excellency 
will exert the same endeavours to prevent the exportation of 
provisions for the use of the enemy from any port in Ireland. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, Jan. 12, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I think it incumbent on me to apprize your Lordship, for his 
Majesty's information, that a copy of an address, of which I 
enclose you a copy, from an armed society at Cork, who call 
themselves the " Cork Union," having been left by Mr. Arm- 
stead, one of that body, and also a member of the " Lawyer's 
Armed Society," in this city, with Sir Richard Heron, my secre- 
tary, I directed him to acquaint Mr. Armstead, that I was parti- 
cularly sensible of the obliging attention intended to me, though 
I thought it necessary to decline receiving the address ; and some 
others of these societies having since offered to address me, 
although in terms not exceptionable, I have declined receiving 

I also think it necessary to enclose to your Lordship a hand- 
bill, printed in the town of Newry, proposing a general and 
speedy institution of committees of correspondence, in the 
trading towns of this kingdom, which was transmitted from the 
collector of that place, and laid before me by the commissioners 
of his Majesty's revenue here. And I have the satisfaction to 
acquaint your Lordship, that at the meeting which was held here 
on Friday, the 7th instant, in consequence of this printed inti- 
mation, it was agreed by a large majority, after much altercation, 
that the committee should be solely on commercial affairs, and 
should have nothing to do with political matters. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Jan. 30, 1780. 

My Lord, 

After having employed different persons at Cork, with the assist- 
ance of Lord Shannon, to obtain evidence of the actual desti- 
nation of the provisions fitting out there, and at the other ports 
of this kingdom, I am very apprehensive no positive evidence 



can be obtained of their being actually intended for the enemy, 
so as to found proceedings in the ordinary legal course against 
the persons employed in this illicit traffic, or to render it prudent 
to stop the vessels. 1 am advised that any measure to be taken 
by me, or the Privy Council, to stop the sailing of these provi- 
sions, would be immediately productive of dangerous violence. 

These provisions are carried in Dutch ships, cleared out for 
Campvere, and other Dutch ports, and consigned to Dutch 
merchants; but as there is no positive evidence of their being 
intended for the enemy, it will not be possible for me, unless 
your Lordship should signify to me His Majesty's orders, to 
take any measures from the mere circumstance of their clearing 
out in this suspicious manner. 

I have ordered an account to be taken of the quantity of 
provisions cleared out now for the Dutch ports, with the quantity 
cleared out in former years, and apprehend it will appear upon 
the comparison that the provisions must be either intended for 
France, or to fit out Dutch fleets, which, from the late proceed- 
ing of Great Britain with that power, would be presumed to be 
provided with hostile intentions to Great Britain. Should this 
enquiry produce, with other circumstances, sufficient evidence, 
and His Majesty should be advised to direct my sending a 
message to the Houses of Parliament, founded upon it, it is 
very probable Parliament might advise some measure to prevent 
this assistance to the enemy. But whether a message could be 
so framed as not to interfere with the King's prerogative, is a 
question of which His Majesty's ministers are the best judges. 
If it were thought advisable to purchase the provisions, or at 
least the good parts, preparing for the enemy, for His Majesty's 
Service, it would defeat the enemy and prevent any discontent, 
and probably the loss would not be great. But I am advised 
that an embargo at this time, without an Address from Parlia- 
ment, would be very likely to occasion much mischief. 

An order, stopping all Dutch ships loaded with provisions, 
might not be so ill received here as an embargo, but that is a 
measure of State, for the consideration of His Majesty and his 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





St. James s, Feb. 6, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I received yesterday your Excellency's letter, dated 30th Jan- 
uary, and marked private, the contents of which appeared to 
me to be so important that I lost no time in receiving the King's 
commands to lay it before His Majesty's confidential servants, 
for their advice and opinion thereupon. Your Excellency in that 
letter says, that any measure to be taken by you or the Privy 
Council to stop the sailing of the provisions from Cork, would 
be immediately productive of dangerous violence. This appears 
to us to be little short of a declaration that all government in 
Ireland is dissolved. His Majesty's servants in England can 
form no opinion of the state of Ireland but through your Ex- 
cellency's information, and therefore for them to recommend to 
His Majesty to give your Excellency any orders with regard 
to the export of provisions from Ireland, would be in other 
words to direct your Excellency to take such steps as you are 
advised would be immediately productive of dangerous violence. 
Under this dilemma we are left, my Lord, to lament the unhappy 
situation of the King's affairs in Ireland, and it is impossible to 
reflect, without the utmost concern and astonishment, that 
whilst His Majesty is taking every possible step in his power to 
relieve and give satisfaction to his Irish subjects, he should in 
the same hour be told that his Government in that kingdom is 
under apprehensions of immediate dangerous violence, if neces- 
sary measures are taken to prevent his enemies from receiving 
those supplies from thence, without which they would find it 
very difficult to carry on the war against these kingdoms. 

Upon the whole, therefore, the King's servants on this side, 
cannot answer to themselves to advise His Majesty to direct 
your Excellency to lay on an embargo by your own authority, 
which you said would be likely to occasion much mischief, the 
extent of which they cannot possibly judge of, nor compare 
with that which must arise from supplying the French fleet with 
provisions ; and it would be full as improper to direct your 



Excellency to send any message to Parliament which might any 
ways commit the prerogative of the Crown. But is there no 
member of Parliament, who being acquainted with the circum- 
stances of this matter, and seeing on the one hand the diffi- 
culties of Government, with regard to the measures necessary to 
be taken in order to distress the enemy, and on the other, the 
immense and dangerous advantages that that enemy will reap 
from the omission of them, — I say, is there no member of Par- 
liament who, thus informed, would have public spirit enough to 
stand up in the House of Commons, and move an address to 
your Excellency, to take such measures, either by embargo, for 
a short time, or otherwise, as might effectually prevent the 
enemy's fleets from being victualled with provisions from Ireland? 
If your Excellency can find such a man, it appears to the King's 
servants that it might be the best way to obviate all objections, 
and to attain this very desirable, I had almost said necessary, 

I humbly recommend to your Excellency to exert yourself 
upon this occasion. Stopping these provisions, is equal to the 
gain of a battle at sea, and may go farther towards giving the 
superiority to His Majesty over his enemies. I do not venture 
to name any gentleman to you, because your Excellency must 
be so much better informed than I am ; and yet I do not doubt 
but that I could name some who would undertake this salutary 
measure. Give me leave, however, to observe, that the address 
must be grounded on the notoriety of the fact ; for if there be 
delay in order to call for papers, or appoint Committees, or any 
such Parliamentary proceedings, the end may be defeated ; by 
such delay, the contractors get notice, and the loaded vessels 
put to sea. Sir Richard Heron can, if called upon, stand up in 
his place, and give the information that your Excellency has 
received from my office, and in consequence of your own en- 
quiries ; and state the conviction we are all under that the provi- 
sions in question are indubitably intended for the supply of the 
French and Spaniards, although it might not be easy to bring 
such proof of that intention as would be necessary in a court of 
law. In case this question should be moved and carried, it will 
be necessary, I apprehend, for your Excellency to have the 
Privy Council assembled, and all necessaries prepared for laying 



the embargo with all possible dispatch ; and I should think five 
or six weeks from the date of it would be sufficient for its con- 
tinuance. In the mean time, for the relief of those who might 
be sufferers from the embargo, Government may take into con- 
sideration the propriety of purchasing the prepared cargoes, 
when it shall be known in what quantity they consist, and to 
what amount the expense would extend. 

I most heartily wish your Excellency success in this important 
measure, and am with the greatest truth and respect, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Feb. 10, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The House of Commons met yesterday, according to their ad- 
journment, when Mr. Foster moved that the House should this 
morning take into further consideration my speech to both 
Houses of Parliament. This motion was made for the purpose 
of opening the Committee of Supply, in order to lay on the 
duties relative to trade, in consequence of the British Acts of 
this session. It was objected that there would not be time to 
go through the whole of the business before it would be neces- 
sary to adjourn on account of the circuits, when many gentle- 
men would be obliged to go into the country, in whose absence 
it would be improper to proceed in such important business. 
This brought on a debate, and as it appeared that the gentlemen 
in opposition wished to postpone business till after the circuits, 
in expectation that addresses and instructions might be then 
procured to influence the Parliament upon any constitutional 
questions those gentlemen may intend to bring forward, it was on 
that ground thought material that the friends of Government 
should not be detained from the circuits. It was however urged, 
on the part of the Government, that the House might proceed 
until the time of the circuits, but signified that it was not in- 
tended to proceed during their continuance, and the motion was 
unanimously agreed to. The circuits begin the 29th of this 
month, which is remarkably early ; and as I have not yet 
received from Mr. Hamilton Lord North's sentiments upon the 



several subjects relative to trade duties, I cannot but be appre- 
hensive that I shall not be able to send over any Bill respecting 
them before the circuits end, unless I shall very soon receive 
his Lordship's sentiments respecting them. Those duties are 
expected to produce between sixty and seventy thousand pounds 
a-year ; I am advised that it is material to have them passed as 
soon as possible, not only on account of the new revenue they 
will bring, but because all trade will be at a stand, and the old 
revenues fall, until it shall be known on which articles, and to 
what amount, they will be imposed. 

Sir Richard Johnston yesterday gave notice that he should on 
Wednesday next move a question upon Poyning's Law, and Sir 
William Osborne gave notice that he should move a question 
upon that part of the Britisli Act which restrains the import of 
glass into Ireland from any other country but Great Britain. As 
neither of these gentlemen act in concert with the body of 
opposition, it is apprehended their motions will not be then 
made; but if they can be forced on, we wish to meet them 
thus early, and have very little doubt of successfully opposing 

Various committees relative to trade are appointed in conse- 
quence of petitions, and many more are expected, which will 
give the House full employment for some days. 

Sir Samuel Bradstreet moved for leave to bring in Heads of a 
Bill for the better securing the liberty of the subject. The Bill 
he proposes is a Habeas Corpus Act, the same as in Great 

I understand that there have been similar attempts in this 
House of Commons, and that they have passed the House, but 
have either been stopped in the Privy Council, or not returned 
from England: and I do not find that this Bill could be opposed 
with success. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, \7th Feb. 1780. 

My Lord, 

I received by your Lordship's messenger on the 11th instant, 
your letter of the 6th, upon the subject of my letter of the 30th 
of January, marked private. Your Lordship therein says, that 
if I can find a member of the House of Commons who has 
public spirit enough to stand up and move an address to me, 
to take such measures, either by embargo, or otherwise, as may 
effectually prevent the enemy's fleet from being victualled with 
provisions from Ireland, it appears to the king's servants, that 
it might be the best way to attain this desirable purpose ; but 
your Lordship, at the same time, informs me you have post- 
poned taking into your consideration the propriety of the 
measure which I had the honour of proposing for that purpose, 
I mean that of purchasing the prepared cargoes for His Majesty's 
use — until you should know what quantity they consist of, and 
to what amount the expense would extend. 

I did immediately thereupon consult with such of His Majes- 
ty's confidential servants as were most likely to carry the 
measure into execution in the House of Commons, and such 
lords and gentlemen of the south as are best acquainted with 
the present circumstances of that part of the kingdom, and from 
their opinions being either absolutely against the measure, or 
their offering their support so reluctantly, as to convince me of 
their doubts of success, and their dislike to it, I am firmly per- 
suaded that the proposing such a measure would have a very ill 
effect upon the remaining and by much the most important 
difficulties and business of the session, and that His Majesty's 
purchasing the provisions, which it is supposed are designed for 
the enemy, would be the most salutary and effectual mode of 
preventing their being sent to them. 

This enquiry has convinced me that I was perfectly founded 
in the representation I made to your Lordship in my letter of 
the 30th past, and when your Lordship considers that the last 
embargo continued for near three years, and that however 
doubtful the opinion may be, it is unanimously believed, that 



it occasioned and continued the late general distress of this 
kingdom, by which great numbers of merchants and graziers 
were ruined, and the gentlemen of the country were not only 
universally prevented from receiving their rents, but many of 
their farms became untenanted, and the rents of others much 
reduced, your Lordship must see that an embargo would now 
create a general alarm, lest the same distress should be renewed, 
and you will not, I hope, construe all Government to be dis- 
solved, as your Lordship is pleased to express yourself, because 
I deliver my opinion that an embargo would be productive of 
dangerous violence. The immediate turning the attention of 
the people here to the enjoyment of the trade of which they are 
now partly, and will be soon in the full possession, is of the 
utmost importance to this kingdom, and to the support and 
ease of His Majesty's Government ; and your Lordship will 
judge whether any thing can operate more directly against such 
an object, than an embargo in its nature stopping trade; more 
especially, if it be apparent that the real end of an embargo may 
at this time be attained by purchasing the provisions. 

When your Lordship says, " it is impossible to reflect without 
the utmost concern and astonishment that whilst His Majesty 
is taking every possible step in his power to relieve and give 
satisfaction to his Irish subjects, he should in the same hour 
be told that his government in that kingdom is under appre- 
hensions of immediate dangerous violence, if necessary mea- 
sures are taken to prevent his enemies receiving those supplies 
from hence, without which they would find it difficult to carry 
on tlie war against these kingdoms you will do me the justice 
to recollect that I recommend to your Lordship a measure ade- 
quate to answer that salutary end ; viz. the purchase of the 
provisions ; which would not be productive of any dangerous 
violence. Therefore, I did not say that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment would be under apprehension of immediate dangerous 
violence if necessary measures were taken, but only if the 
measure proposed, but not directed by your Lordship, were 
adopted at a time that it could not be said to be necessary ; 
another equally effectual being suggested by me. 

I should add, as a further reason against the expediency of 
hazarding the measure of an embargo at this time, that having, 
immediately on the receipt of your Lordship's letter, sent an ex- 
press to Cork, to know the quantity of provisions which were 




ready to sail in Dutch bottoms, the conveyance your Lordship 
mentions for them to the enemy, I find by the enclosed copies 
of a letter and return of exports from Mr. Davis, the Port Sur- 
veyor, that it is small, and that the extent of the evil which the 
embargo would immediately effect, is not of the magnitude your 
Lordship would seem to apprehend. But the alarm it would 
occasion would not be the less, and the discontent would rise 
in proportion to the smallness of the apparent necessity of its 
being imposed ; from hence also, your Lordship will judge that 
the expense of the purchasing will not probably be very con- 

Upon the whole I submit to your Lordship that the pur- 
chasing the provisions is the easiest and most salutary mode of 
preventing the evil, and that if His Majesty's servants shall be 
of that opinion, orders should be given for that purpose, and a 
power to treat for such as may hereafter be intended to be 

But if, notwithstanding what I have submitted here, and in 
my letter of the 30th past, and also that the kingdom is yet 
sore from the effects of a very long embargo which has been so 
lately removed, His Majesty shall be advised to order an em- 
bargo, I shall most readily obey his commands, and will imme- 
diately take every step to prevent, as far as possible, the ill 
effects apprehended here from this measure, 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, 21 st Feb. 1780. 

My Lord, 

Agreeably to the notice, which I mentioned in my letter of the 
10th instant, Lord Carysfort had given to the House of Lords, 
his Lordship to day presented Heads of a Bill for regulating the 
Army of Ireland. He contended that the Act of Mutiny and 
Desertion being a British Act, could not have force in Ireland, 
and even though British Acts wherein Ireland was specified, or 
included, by general terms, were in force here, the Act in 
question was so worded, as on that principle not to extend to 



The Heads of the Bill being read, Lord Ely moved that the 
second reading should be postponed to the 1st of September. In 
the debate which ensued, the Chancellor, the Archbishop of 
Cashel, Lord Annaly, and Lord Farnham exerted themselves 
with great ability against the Bill, which was received with 
general dissatisfaction, and the question being put upon Lord 
Ely's motion, it was carried without a division. 

Lord Mountmorris gave notice, that he would on Thursday 
next, move the House upon a subject of the first importance, 
but his Lordship declined mentioning what it respected, further 
than that it involved the same question as Lord Carysfort's 
Bill, meaning, I suppose, the legislative power of Great Britain. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, April 29, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Since the letter I had the honour of writing to your Lordship 
of the 22nd instant, upon the subject of a Bill for the punish- 
ment of Mutiny and Desertion, which had been attempted to 
be introduced into this House of Commons, I find that a Bill 
of a similar nature was before the Parliament of this kingdom, 
in the year 169*2. 

It appears from the Journals of the Irish House of Commons, 
vol. ii. p. 615, that on the 28th of October, in that year, an 
engrossed Bill was sent from the Lords, entitled, ''An Act for 
punishing Officers and Soldiers, who shall mutiny or desert their 
Majesty's service;" which, having been read twice, was com- 
mitted to a Select Committee, on the first of November. 

While the Bill was lying before this Committee, the then 
Lord Lieutenant, Lord Sidney, sent the following message to 
the House. 

" Sidney, 

" There is a Bill transmitted from England, entituled, 4 An Act 
for punishing Officers and Soldiers, who shall mutiny or desert 
their Majesty's service;' which had passed the Lords' House 
and is sent to the Commons. This Bill so much concerns the 

E E 2 



making the Army useful and serviceable, by keeping the sol- 
diers under discipline, and, consequently, is so much for the 
good and benefit of this kingdom, that I cannot but recommend 
it to the House of Commons, to be taken into their considera- 

" From their Majesty's Castle of Dublin, the 2nd day of No- 
vember, 1692. By his Excellency's special command. 

" C. Wych." 

Upon this, the House ordered, that the above message should 
be entered on the Journals ; and an additional number of mem- 
bers were appointed to the Select Committee, to take the Bill 
into their consideration, and report their opinion thereon on the 

It appears on the Report, that the Committee had thrown out 
a proviso in the Bill, by which it was to continue in force until 
the 2nd day of November, 1695, and from thence to the end of 
the first Session of the next Parliament, and instead thereof, 
inserted the following. 

" Provided also, that this Act shall continue and be in force 
for one year, from the day of the Royal assent given to the said 
Bill, and no longer." 

The Bill was then rejected by the House, and a new Commit- 
tee immediately appointed to prepare Heads of another Bill of 
the same title ; but nothing further was done in the business, as 
the Parliament was prorogued that very day. 

The books of the Privy Council here having been burnt in 
1711, there are no traces of this Bill in their office ; but as the 
House of Lords met on the 5th of October, and the first notice 
of this Bill in their Journals, is their Resolution, on the 25th 
following, to give it the first reading, it seems that it originated 
in the Privy Council. 

In this Session, a Bill for granting certain Duties to their 
Majesties for one year, was rejected by the Commons; " for 
that the same had not taken its rise in their House." On which 
account, as appears by the Lord Lieutenant's Speech, entered 
in the Journals, the Parliament was prorogued ; and Harris, in 
his Life of King William, p. 373, says, that this Bill for pu- 


nishing Mutiny and Desertion, with several others, fell to the 
ground, on the same account. 

I have stated these several particulars to your Lordship, 
because, upon the proposing a Mutiny Bill here, it will certainly 
be urged, that these Proceedings show it was the opinion of his 
JNlajesty and his Ministers in 1692, that such a Bill was neces- 
sary, or at the least expedient at that time. And as there are 
no books of correspondence in the Paper Office here, of so old a 
date as that year, nothing can be traced which can explain why 
this Bill was so particularly recommended to the House of 
Commons by Lord Sidney, nor has any thing been found to 
throw further light upon this transaction. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, May 2, 1780. 


I am directed by my Lord Lieutenant to acquaint you, by the 
messenger who brings over the Money-Bills, for the information 
of Lord Hillsborough, that Mr. Bushe gave notice to-day in 
the House of Commons, that he should on Monday next repeat 
his motion, for leave to bring in Heads of a Mutiny Bill. 

The apprehensions of mischief, from the general opinion that 
such a Bill is necessary, will make it difficult to resist this 
motion with effect; but his Excellency hopes, that he shall, 
before Monday, receive from Lord Hillsborough his Majesty's 
directions for his conduct on this most important question. 

My Lord Lieutenant has also directed me to acquaint you, 
that if he shall not hear from Lord Hillsborough before Monday, 
he will endeavour to have the motion deferred for a day or two, 
but it will certainly be brought on in the beginning of the week. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Richard Heron. 




Dublin Castle, ]3th May, 1780. 


Upon reading over my Lord Lieutenant's dispatch to Lord Hills- 
borough of the 8th instant, upon the subject of the Mutiny Bill, 
moved by Mr. Bushe, it appears, that where his Excellency 
states the Lords and gentlemen who gave their opinions at the 
Castle on the necessity of that measure, no mention is made of 
Mr. Flood ; and as that gentlemen stated very strongly the ne- 
cessity of it, I am directed, by the Lord Lieutenant, to commu- 
nicate this circumstance to you for the information of Lord 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, Uth May, 1780. 


As Lord North might be anxious to receive the earliest intelli- 
gence of what passes in the House of Commons upon the duties 
to be laid on refined and bastard sugars from Great Britain, I 
am directed, by my Lord Lieutenant, to communicate to you, 
for his Lordship's information, what has been done in this im- 
portant business. 

I received yesterday morning, by express from Mr. Hamilton 
your letter to him of the 12th instant, containing Lord North's 
determination upon this subject ; and as yesterday had been 
fixed by the House of Commons for considering the resolutions 
respecting sugars, the Attorney-General moved in the com- 
mittee of ways and means, that an additional duty should be 
laid on British refined sugars in loaves of 5s. lO^d. per cwt. 
This Resolution was immediately opposed, and Mr. Latouche 
moved, by way of amendment, that, instead of the sum of 
5s. IOJcL, the sum of 21. Is., should be inserted; and Captain 
Burgh having moved, that after the words, two pounds, one 



shilling, the words amounting to a prohibition of British Re- 
fined Sugars should be added ; a long debate ensued, in which 
the original motion was supported with great zeal and ability by 
Mr. Beresford. 

About ten o'clock, the Committee in general appearing to be 
against a prohibitory duty ; and, at the same time, many gen- 
tlemen thinking the sum proposed by the Attorney-General too 
low, the above Amendments were withdrawn, and a third pro- 
posed by Mr. Latouche, that 16s. l^d. should be inserted 
instead of 5s. lO^d., upon which, after some debate, the Com- 
mittee divided, — Ayes 48 — Noes 101. 

A fourth Amendment was then proposed by Mr. Metge, of 
lis. Id., which being negatived by 78 to 73, Sir Lucius O'Brien 
moved for the sum of 9s. 4\d. to be inserted ; and this being 
rejected by 80 to 74, a sixth Amendment was offered by Mr. 
Crookshank, of 9s. 3d., which also passed in the negative. 
After this, the question being put upon the original Resolution, 
it was carried without a division. The Attorney-General then 
moved that Is. \0d. per cwt. should be laid on all bastard 
sugars imported from Great Britain, which was likewise ac- 
quiesced in, and the Report being made to the House, it was 
ordered to be received to day. 

As these resolutions were carried with so much difficulty, and 
many members were absent from the divisions it was determined 
by the Opposition to move to-day for their recommitment. But 
the House being thin upon the order being read for receiving the 
report, it was proposed that the Report on the two resolutions 
respecting sugars, should be postponed till to-morrow, in which, 
as it seemed to be the general sense of the few members present, 
and Mr. Beresford being prevented by indisposition from attend- 
ing to-day, it was judged prudent to acquiesce. 

Mr. Mason proposed that the duty on refined sugars should 
be lis. Id. until the 24th of June J 781, and 5s. lO^d. from 
that time, upon the opinion that the direct imports from the 
colonies could not take place till that time, and, consequently, 
that the Irish refinery would, till it did, be loaded with the 
circuitous expense of 4s. per cwt. on the raw material, which 
would destroy the refinery. Several of the old friends and ser- 
vants of the Government divided against us in all the divisions 



subsequent to that upon the 16s. 7Jc?., and in general the duty 
of 5s. IOJg?. is thought insufficient, at least till the direct im- 
port can take place to preserve the Irish refinery on the same 
footing it now stands with respect to the British refinery. This 
apprehension has occasioned a general alarm, and will, it is said, 
produce new associations against the imports of British manu- 

As the House did not adjourn last night till after twelve, 
when the mail is despatched, I could not then give you an 
account of what passed. 

I have the honour to be, &c, 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, May 18, 1780. 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship, in your letter of the 22nd past, mentions, that 
what the Committee of Supply has done, will give the greatest 
satisfaction, provided the sum granted, together with the new 
taxes, shall enable his Majesty to carry on Government with 
credit and dignity, till the next session of Parliament. 

I need not say it is my most ardent wish, that the provision 
which has been made may effectually answer this purpose ; but 
as it could be made upon estimate only, no man can answer with 
certainty for the event. I can, therefore, only state to your 
Lordship the grounds on which that provision was made, and 
that it is the opinion of those who seem best acquainted with the 
subject, that the estimates are formed upon just and proper 

The supply is divided into two periods. The first takes in the 
time from the 25th of March, 1779, to the 24th of June, 1780, 
and is to provide for such arrears as shall be due on the said 
24th of June, the day on which the present duties will expire, 
and it was computed that a sum of 260,000/., over and above 
the sum of 350,000/. granted already this session, and over and 
above all solvent balances in the treasury and collector's hands, 
will be wanting to discharge those arrears, and clear his Majesty's 
establishment, the grants of Parliament, and other charges to 
that day. 



Your Lordship will see in the Loan Bill now transmitted, 
authority is given for raising the sum in such a manner as shall 
be thought most expedient by his Majesty's chief governor, on 
loan, by debentures, treasury bills, or one or more lotteries. 
But it will probably be proposed to be raised by treasury bills, 
to be paid off by the produce of those lotteries as far as they 
shall go. 

The other period of supply is from the 24th of June next to 
the '25th of December, 1781, being the time for which the duties 
contained in the bills transmitted now are granted to provide. 

For your Lordship's more particular information, I shall state 
the estimate on which this supply is calculated. 


£. s. d. 

The Annual Charge of the Civil Establishment, 

as it stood on the 25th March, 1780 161,686 9 1 

Ditto of the Military Establishment, as it stood 

on the 31st of March, 17S0 465,793 19 9J 

The Extraordinaries, as in the last year, de- 

ducting Parliamentary Grants, which are 

included in the preceding period 169,994 2 5f 

Interest of Debentures and Annuities, and of 

the above 260,000/. when borrowed 1 16,753 

Total Charge £914,227 11 4 

The Hereditary Revenues, on an average of six 
years' gross produce (with expense of ma- 
nagement, &c, as in the last year deducted), 

produced the net sum of 385,258 6 8^ 

Old Additional Duties, at a like average 195,143 8 1\ 

New Additional Duties, being those which 
were established in Lord Harcourt's two 

sessions, on an average 76,762 8 11 

Stamp Duties, net 14,140 11 8 

Loan Duties, on an average 64,383 18 lOg 

Pells and Poundage 20,045 

755,733 14 9J 

Annual Deficiency 

£ 158,493 16 6| 



To answer which deficiency, the following 

Taxes have been proposed and voted, and 

are estimated to produce annually as fol- 
lows : — £. s. d. 

Id. lb. on British Hops imported 6,075 7 

Additional Duties on Muscovado and Refined 

Sugars imported 58,680 3 3f 

l T 6 o 3 oC/. per lb. on Tobacco 29,824 10 If 

10/. 7s. per ton on French Wines, and 51. on 

Spanish and all other Wines, except those 

of Portugal 31,214 4 11| 

Additional Stamp Duties by return from the 

office 14,700 

21. 6s. per ton on Vinegar, about 800 

141,294 5 5 

Thereto adding the Post-office 12,000 

The whole will be per annum 1 53,294 5 5 

Remaining deficiency ...... 5,199 11 lg 

In this estimate the revenues are stated at an average of six 
years, to the 25th of March, 1779, for such as have existed so 
long, and at an average from their commencement, for such 
duties as have not existed for six years. 

This average produce is higher than the average produce of 
last year, to Lady-day, 1780, appears to have been, but it may 
be considered as the truest estimate to be formed ; the revenues 
for four of the six years on which it was taken, that is to say, 
the two years to Lady-day, 1775, and the two years to Lady- 
day, 1779, having been considerably lower than in the preceding 
two years; besides which, the revenue is supposed to be rising, 
and it is the opinion of the most conversant in the revenue that 
it will continue to rise; and the expense of collection which was 
increased by some great accidental expences in the year, taken 
into this estimate will probably admit of some decrease. 

Your Lordship will here observe, that a year's expense and 
revenue only is stated, to which adding six months more, the 



deficiency of revenue at Christmas,! 781, will be 7,799/. 6s. Sd. 
if the revenues and new taxes keep up as estimated. But there 
possibly may be a further deficiency in the produce of the new 
tax on wines, as it is stated at their average import of six years, 
and the use of wines is supposed to have decreased in that time. 
There will be a deficiency, too, for the purposes of Government, 
on whatever may be the surplus of the loan duties in the said 
eighteen months ; but these deficiencies are expected to be more 
than compensated by the equalizing duties on the American 
trade, none of which are included in the foregoing estimate 
except on sugar and tobacco. 

I have thus stated the several particulars of the supply, and 
relying on the one hand upon the opinion given me that the 
revenue is likely to hold to the estimate, and on the other, that 
there will be no extraordinary and unusual expenses, I flatter 
myself that with it, His Majesty's Government may be carried 
on with dignity and credit, and at all events without distress. 
Till the next session of Parliament, no further requisition could 
have been made upon the estimate here particularized; and your 
Lordship will observe that the Commons have in this session 
granted 350,000/. before Christmas, and 260,000/. since Christ- 
mas, in the whole 610,000/. to be raised by loan. They will 
also have imposed new taxes to the estimated annual amount of 
153,000/. I understand no effort of equal magnitude, either in 
loan or taxes, was ever yet made in one session. All the new 
taxes that have been granted in all the sessions since His late 
Majesty's accession, both for ordinary supply and loan together, 
are represented to me not to exceed the estimated amount of 
those new taxes granted in one year. Nor did all the sums pre- 
vious to the year 1763, put together, create so large a debt as 
the borrowing of 610,000/. in this single session will occasiou. 
The utmost borrowed in any one session was 466,000/. and that 
in the very last. 

I should wish to point out to your Lordship that the usual 
mode of supply has been to make provision for any real or sup- 
posed deficiency no farther than to the 25th of March preceding 
the expiration of the duties to found the new grants, whether by 
duties or votes of credit on a two years' estimate from the said 
day, and to leave the nine months, between the 25th of March, 



to which such estimate is calculated, and the Christmas following 
to the consideration of the succeeding session. But the 
Commons have in this session departed from that mode, and 
having* provided a sum to clear arrears from the 25th of March, 
1779, to the 24th of Jane, 1780, a period of fifteen months, 
and having also granted new duties to equalise the expenses 
thence to Christmas, 1781, a period of eighteen months, they 
have actually made a provision for two years and nine months, 
a circumstance never before known in this kingdom since bien- 
nial sessions took place. 

From all these circumstances of their liberal endeavours, and 
from the impoverished state of this kingdom, any further requi- 
sition from me (which could be grounded only on a possible fall 
of revenue below its average) would have been imprudent. And 
if the revenue should unfortunately and unexpectedly so fall, 
the arrear which may be occasioned thereby will not be so dis- 
tressing as not to wait without inconvenience to be provided for 
in the next session. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, May 20, 1780. 


Having had the honour of acquainting you in my letter of the 
18th instant what had passed here respecting the duties on sugar, 
I am directed by my Lord Lieutenant to communicate to you, 
for Lord North's information, the further proceedings of the 
House of Commons upon this subject. As the design of Oppo- 
sition, mentioned to you in my letter, to re-commit the two 
resolutions of the committee of ways and means, for laying a duty 
of 5s. lO^d. on refined, and Is. lOd. on bastard sugars/ im- 
ported from Great Britain, could be only made for the purpose of 
raising them, it was determined to give every possible opposition 
to the re-commitment, which might possibly have succeeded, 
had not the Duke of Leinster's friends, and some other gentle- 
men, declared in the House, that they could not support Govern- 
ment in resisting such a motion. 



This motion was supported with great violence by Opposition, 
and produced a long debate, till near 10 o'clock, when the House 
divided; for the re-committal, 130, against 55. The House then 
resolved itself into a committee of ways and means, and the 
resolutions being re-committed, a duty of 16s. l\d. was proposed 
by Mr. Latouche, instead of 5s. \0\cl. but the House in general 
appearing against it, as amounting to a prohibition, Mr. Metge 
moved that 12s. should be inserted, and Sir Lucius O'Brien 
lis. Id. which he insisted was the true sum; after some debate, 
Sir Lucius O'Brien withdrew his motion, and the duty of 12s. 
was carried by 106 to 71. Mr. Hussey Burgh then moved, 
that a duty of 4s. 7 c \a T . should be imposed on all bastard and 
powder sugars imported from Great Britain, which being sub- 
mitted to, the committee adjourned, and the report was ordered 
to be received to-day. 

This debate turned entirely upon the probability or improba- 
bility of this kingdom obtaining a direct import, so as to save 
the circuitous expense, it being generally understood that a duty 
of 5s. \0\d. would not be sufficient if the Irish refiner shall 
continue subject to the circuitous expense; and those who think 
the direct import will not take place during the eighteen months, 
apprehend the Irish refinery would, at the duty of 5s. \0\d. be 
ruined in that interval. I did all in my power to explain away 
this objection, in which I was very fully and ably assisted by Mr. 
Beresfoid, who maintained the propriety of the resolutions agreed 
to by the committee, upon the ground of a direct import imme- 
diately taking place, and opposed the re-commitment with great 
firmness. The Attorney-General also supported Government 
with great zeal, as did Mr. Conolly. Mr. Foster, finding the 
question for the re-committal would be carried, was of opinion 
we should bring the duty lower in the committee if we went into 
it before we were beat on the question of re-committal than after, 
he therefore spoke in favour of it, but declared that if the direct 
import could take place, the duties laid by the committee would 
be fully adequate; and in explaining the reasons of his conduct 
to-day to my Lord Lieutenant, he stated, that seeing from the 
turn of the debate the re-committal must be carried by a great 
majority, and believing many members would vote for it, who 
would not vote for altering the duty, he thought it best not to 



complicate one question with the other, lest those who should 
be for the re-committal should appear pledged to alter the 

You will be less surprised at the result of this question, when 
I inform you that three Commissioners of His Majesty's Revenue, 
Sir Hercules Langrishe, Mr. Mason, and Mr. Townshend, with 
most of Lord Shannon's and Lord Ely's friends were for the re- 

The truth is, that a real and general alarm took place on this 
occasion ; a non-importation agreement was proposed by many 
merchants, who are usually very moderate ; and at a meeting of 
the merchants of this city yesterday, amongst whom were many 
persons not usually at such meetings, the enclosed resolutions 
were entered into. 

Upon the examination of the sugar-bakers and grocers before 
the Committee of Ways and Means, the duty proposed by the 
former was 21. Os. ll^d. ; and, by the latter, who are very anx- 
ious to preserve the imports of refined sugars from Great Britain, 
so high as 9s. 2c?. ; the conduct of the House of Commons upon 
so low a duty as 5s. lO^d. being proposed, will therefore appear 
the less extraordinary, especially as it is the general opinion that 
the benefit of the plantation trade, granted by Great Britain, 
depends much on the preservation of the Irish refinery, which it 
was asserted, and is generally believed, the imposition of a low 
duty on British refined sugars, before the direct import takes 
place, would entirely destroy, 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Richard Heron. 


Dublin Castle, May 26, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour of enclosing to your Lordship a printed copy 
of the British Act now in force " for Punishment of Mutiny, and 
Desertion, and for the better payment of the Army and their 
Quarters," with such alterations made therein as, together with 
certain written clauses also herewith transmitted, make the 
Heads of a Bill for punishing Mutiny and Desertion, and for 



the Regulation of the Army, which were presented yesterday in 
the House of Commons here by Mr. Bushe, and were ordered 
by them to be committed for this day. These Heads of a Bill 
are drawn in a form very different from that to which endeavours 
will be used to have them shaped, and no possible exertion has 
been, or shall be omitted, to render them such as his Majesty's 
Ministers may think admissible, though the success must be 

The most difficult and critical task will be the modelling of 
the first clause ; wherefore it was proposed to gain time for con ■ 
sideration of that point : and accordingly the debate upon the 
Heads of the Bill is postponed till Monday. Your Lordship 
may be satisfied that the intermediate time shall be employed to 
the best advantage for his Majesty's service. 

I have, &c. 



Dublin Castle, June 2, 1780. 

My Lord, 

I have the honour to send your Lordship herewith a copy of the 
" Heads of a Bill for the better accommodation and regulation 
of his Majesty's Army in this Kingdom," which were reported 
this day in the House of Commons, and ordered to be presented 
to me, that the same may be transmitted into Great Britain in 
due form, to which Sir Richard Heron gave his negative. 

The gentlemen who assisted in framing these Heads of a Bill 
as they now stand, professed to have done it with a studied 
attention to avoid every expression which might be offensive to 
Great Britain, or directly apply to a presumption that the British 
Mutiny Act is of no validity in this House. 

My former dispatches have so fully stated to your Lordship 
the universal opinion that some law to this purpose is absolutely 
necessary to be passed here, that it is needless for me to enlarge 
upon the subject. 

As it is apprehended that the tranquillity of this kingdom, 
and the existence of his Majesty's army in Ireland, may in some 
degree depend upon the event of this Bill, your Lordship will 



not wonder at any anxiety to know his Majesty's pleasure re- 
specting my future conduct, with as much expedition as the 
consideration due to so important a subject can possibly admit. 
Your Lordship has already been informed that my being able to 
resist it effectually in the Council, is extremely doubtful. 

I have the honour, &c. 



Dublin Castle, \"5th June, 1780. 


I am directed, by my Lord Lieutenant, to acquaint you, for 
the information of Lord Hillsborough, of the proceedings of the 
journeymen manufacturers of this city, in respect to the " heads 
of a Bill to prevent combinations, and for the further encourage- 
ment of trade," which were brought into Parliament this Session 
by Sir Lucius O'Brien, and having passed the House of Com- 
mons, were ordered up to be presented to my Lord Lieutenant 
on the 8th instant. 

Some parts of this Bill were much complained of by the jour- 
neymen manufacturers, who were heard by counsel at the bar of 
the House against it. But their objections being over-ruled, it 
has occasioned great discontent among them. 

It was rumoured yesterday, that the whole body of these peo- 
ple intended to rise ; and in the evening the Lord Mayor waited 
on me at the House of Commons, and acquainted me he had re- 
ceived information that they intended to proceed this morning 
to the Castle in a body, and present a petition to his Excellency 
the Lord Lieutenant, against the Bill ; and his Lordship re- 
quested, that as it was impossible to foresee the consequences of 
such a proceeding, the military might be prepared and stationed 
in such a manner as to prevent any violence being committed. 
Orders were accordingly given, that a detachment of 400 
infantry, and a squadron of horse, from the barracks, should be 
stationed this morning in the Castle-yard, and proper guards 
were directed to be placed in other parts of the town. 

This morning the manufacturers assembled in great numbers 
in the Phoenix Park, from whence, about ten o'clock, three of 



their body came to me, and informed me, that they had no de- 
sign whatever of violence, but only intended, in a legal manner, 
to petition against the Bill, and would either bring up their pe- 
tition by the body of the manufacturers, or by a small number 
of three or four ; and upon my acquainting them that their 
petition should be laid before the Privy Council, they expressed 
their satisfaction. 

The people, after signing their petition, dispersed. They had 
no arms ; their behaviour is represented to have been very 
peaceable ; and there is great reason to believe that no violent 
measure will be attempted. 

The magistrates have acted, upon the occasion, with great 
firmness and propriety ; and the volunteer societies assembled 
in order to assist in preserving the public peace. Since writing 
the above, the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs have acquainted me the 
journeymen have all quietly returned to their houses, and that 
they have no further apprehensions of violence whatever. And 
orders have been accordingly given for reducing the additional 

This letter will be delivered to you by Mr. Foster, Mrs. Foster 
being in London at this time, he is going thither for a few days. 

1 have the honour to be, &c. 

Rich. Heron. 


Dublin Castle, llth July, 1780. 

My Lord, 

The last post brought me your Lordship's favour of the 5th, 
with the Extraordinary Gazette. It makes me peculiarly happy 
to have such repeated opportunities of thanking you for the early 
communication of such important and fortunate events. As to 
the affairs of this kingdom, it is very unnecessary for me to re- 
commend to your Lordship's sound judgment and discretion the 
expediency of temporising, as far as with propriety may be, with 
respect to the important objects at this time under the conside- 
ration of his Majesty's Cabinet. You are the best judge how far 
their determination may lead to the bringing forward some ques- 
tions of moment at the close of the Session ; and will conse- 



quently decide how far it will be advisable for the English Go- 
vernment to request such members of the Irish House of Com- 
mons as are in England to come over by the 24th. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


P.S. It is very necessary for me to know, as early as possible, 
the measures adopted, as well in the instance of the Sugar, as of 
the Army Bill. Sir Richard Heron will state to Sir Stanier Por- 
ten the transactions of yesterday in the House of Lords. My 
best endeavours will be exerted, that the evil intentions of the 
two noble Lords may be properly met. 


Dublin Castle, lltk July, 1780. 


I am directed, by my Lord Lieutenant, to acquaint you, for 
the information of Lord Hillsborough, that on the meeting of the 
House of Lords yesterday, in pursuance of their last adjourn- 
ment, Lord Mountnorris moved for an address to his Excellency 
the Lord Lieutenant, to represent to his Majesty the defenceless 
state of this country, as to the trade and commerce of it, and to 
desire such ships of war might be sent as were necessary for its 
defence. After some debate, his Lordship was prevailed upon to 
withdraw his motion, and Lord Clifden moved the question of 
adjournment ; this was opposed by Lord Carysfort, who said he 
was prepared to move the heads of a Bill, but, after some debate, 
in which the Archbishop of Cashel took an active part, Lord 
Clifden's motion was carried, and the House adjourned to 
the 25th. 

Lord Mountnorris gave notice, that immediately after the re- 
cess he should bring forward the question, respecting the juris- 
diction of the House of Lords of Ireland to determine appeals 
from the Courts of Justice in this kingdom. And it was imagined 
that the purport of Lord Carysfort's intended Bill is to confirm 
the titles of Irish estates, held under British Acts of Parliament. 

As the questions are of a very improper tendency, his Excel- 
lency has further directed me to inform you, for Lord Hills- 
borough's information, that no exertion in his power shall be 



wanting to prevent any inconvenience arising from their being 
agitated. I am also directed by his Excellency to inclose you 
an extract of a letter from the High Sheriff of Donegall, which 
was this day given to the Lord Chancellor by Mr. Nesbitt, a 
gentleman of consideration in that county, relative to five pri- 
vateers of the enemy, now cruising on that coast, which you will 
be pleased to lay before Lord Hillsborough. 

If the Sugar Bill shall be altered, or the Mutiny Bill shall not 
be returned, or be materially altered, we shall want all the assist- 
ance we can obtain in the House of Commons, so that if there 
are any Irish Members in England, whose attendance Lord Hills- 
borough could procure, it would be very useful. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Rich. Heron. 


Dublin Castle, \ 3th July, 1780. 

My Lord, 

It is not in my power to advance, that there may not be many 
persons in this kingdom, who, from different principles, concur 
in a wish to perplex his Majesty's Government. Yet it appears 
very evident to me, that this spirit does not by any means go to 
that extent which hints from England, induce me to suppose has 
been generally conceived there. Let me therefore hope that 
Administration will not despair of seeing hereafter, when the 
present fermentation subsides, the affairs of Ireland settled to 
their satisfaction, and that they will studiously avoid manifest- 
ing any symptoms of a contrary impression, which, productive 
possibly of disagreeable consequences, can have no materially 
useful operation. 

I wish you joy of a happy close of a most fatiguing and most 
anxious Session. The wording of his Majesty's speech was 
most critically judicious, and, with the advantage of being deli- 
vered by him, cannot but have made that impression which the 
times call for. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 


F F 2 




Dublin Castle, 14th Aug. 1780. 


I am to acquaint you, by the directions of my Lord Lieu- 
tenant, for the information of Lord Hillsborough, that, upon the 
alterations of the Sugar Bill being reported this day, the order 
for the Bill being read a second time was discharged, and, on 
the principle of its being an altered Money Bill, it was rejected 
without opposition. Mr. Foster then presented new heads of a 
Bill for granting duties on sugar, which were received, read, 
and committed for to-morrow, when the expediency of adopting 
the duties, inserted by the British Privy Council in the rejected 
Bill, will be debated. 

I am in great hopes that all opposition to this measure will be 
ineffectual, and that the new Bill will be transmitted in the form 
most agreeable to his Majesty's Ministers. The Corn, Linen, 
Tobacco, and Army Bills, were also read a second time ; the 
three former were committed for to-morrow. The Committee 
on the latter, as I informed you in my letter of the 12th, is post- 
poned to Wednesday. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Rich. Heron. 


Dublin Castle, 16th Aug. 1780. 

My Lord, 

Your Lordship will have received an account of what has 
passed in Parliament here, since the return of the Bills by Sir 
Richard Heron's letter to Sir Stanier Porten, written by my 
directions for your Lordship's information. I have now the 
pleasure to acquaint your Lordship, that in the Committee yes- 
terday, upon the heads of the new Sugar Bill, the duty of 
9s. which was adopted by the British Privy Council, was 

carried by 119 to 88. 

The debate on this question lasted till nine o'clock ; and I 
should deem myself unpardonable, were I not to mention the 



very honourable manner in which Government was supported 
by Mr. Beresford, Sir Lucius O'Brien, Sir Hercules Langrishe, 
Mr. Mason, Mr. Parnel, and the Prime Serjeant. Mr. Foster, 
who, as Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, should 
have been in the chair, desired the Solicitor General to take his 
place, that he might be at liberty to move and support the duty 
of 9s. %\%d., in which he exerted himself with particular ability 
and zeal ; and I am informed that the very warm and convincing 
manner with which he urged the question, had uncommon in- 
fluence on the House. 

The duty of 5s. upon bastard sugars was carried with- 

out opposition ; but on the Committee having reported, a new 
debate arose, whether the Report should be then received. 

It is imagined that this opposition was made with an intent to 
put off the decision of the Army Bill, committed for this day ; 
but after a debate, till near twelve o'clock, the question for the 
Report being then received, was immediately carried, without a 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, )9thAug. 1780. 


I am commanded by my Lord Lieutenant to send you, for the 
information of Lord Hillsborough, the enclosed Hibernian jour- 
nal, printed yesterday, containing the Resolutions entered into 
at a meeting of the merchants' corps of volunteers assembled at 
the Royal Exchange, on Thursday, relative to the Sugar Bill 
and the Army Bill, which had passed the House of Commons. 

Mr. Peter Digges Latouche, whose name appears as Chair- 
man of the meeting, is not one of the partners of the bank of 
.Messrs. Latouche, but only a clerk in their office. I am in- 
formed that the meeting was held at an early hour, that the 
number present was very small, and that the Resolutions were 
framed at the instigation of some sugar bakers. 

In the k< Freeman's Journal" of this day, herewith enclosed, 



you will also observe some articles fully calling for animad- 

A consultation of the King's law servants is to be had to- 
morrow, to consider what may be proper to be done upon the 

Respectable Members of Parliament, of all denominations, 
highly disapprove of this licentiousness ; and indeed the exe- 
cration of such pernicious attempts to disturb the public tran- 
quillity is very great. 

The House of Commons is adjourned only till Monday. My 
Lord Lieutenant, this afternoon, gave the Royal Assent to such 
Bills as were ready, of which his Excellency has sent a list to 
Lord Hillsborough ; the Bill now laying before the House of 
Lords for granting a bounty upon linens is adjourned to Thurs- 
day. The Tenants Bill passed that House this evening, by a 
majority of one voice. The passing of this Bill is deemed a for- 
tunate event for the peace of the country, many persons having 
affected to treat the opposition to it as a measure of Government, 
and endeavoured to raise, upon that foundation, a general spirit 
of discontent. 

No accounts have been received from the country of the like 
discontent, at these Bills in any other parts. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

R. Heron. 


Dublin Castle, 23rd Aug. 1780. 

My Lord, 

Yesterday evening, in consequence of an anonymous adver- 
tisement in the " Freeman's Journal" (which I enclosed to your 
Lordship in my letter of the 19th, a number of persons assembled 
in the Music Hall, in Fishamble Street, where, after some de- 
bate, it was resolved to call upon the Sheriffs to convene a meet- 
ing of the citizens at large, in order to consider (as is supposed) 
the propriety of a non-importation agreement. I do not find 
that any merchants of credit or consideration were present at 



the meeting, and am rather inclined to think that the Sheriffs 
will refuse to comply with the Requisition. 

I flatter myself it is unnecessary to add, that every attention 
will be given to baffle any attempt to insult the Legislature or 
disturb the public tranquillity. 

I have the honour, &c. 



Dublin Castle, 6th Sept. 1780. 


I enclose to you herewith, by command of my Lord Lieute- 
nant, for Lord Hillsborough's information, an Hibernian jour- 
nal of this day's date, in the fourth page of which you will find 
under the article of Dublin, a paragraph containing the proceed- 
ings at a meeting of citizens, held at the Tholsel yesterday, in 
consequence of a requisition made to the Sheriffs of the City of 
Dublin for that purpose. 

I am to acquaint you, that the Requisition was very much 
and very generally disapproved, and that the Sheriffs reluctantly 
agreed, after a long delay, to call the meeting, the majority of 
which consisted of inferior citizens of the most factious spirit. 
The first resolution for a general non-importation agreement, 
will (as I hope) be defeated by a counter agreement, which the 
friends of Government, and the sober part of the citizens, intend 
to propose. The second Resolution for a petition to the King 
to dissolve the Irish Parliament is treated as ridiculous ; and the 
third, for thanking the volunteers, is of no consequence. Every 
proper measure is taken by Government to render ineffectual the 
designs of the promoters of these Resolutions. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 

Rich. Heron. 




Dublin Castle, 1th Oct. 1780. 

My Lord, 

Whenever his Majesty's instructions is signified to me, it is 
my duty to use every exertion for the immediate execution of 
the same. The orders, therefore, have been given, that the three 
regiments be in readiness to embark as soon as possible ; but 
my unfeigned attachment to his Majesty, and my zeal to at- 
tend, to the utmost of my ability, in every instance, to his 
tranquillity, and that of the public, obliges me to mention, that 
it appears to me a measure of the most serious cast. The de- 
tailing to your Lordship the situation of this country would be 
giving you superfluous trouble ; and I almost think that you 
yourself will apprehend some serious consequences, from the 
removing so great a force from hence without an immediate 
supply. For as to the three regiments destined to replace them, 
they can consist of little more than commissioned and non-com- 
missioned officers; and, as far as may be presumed, from the 
recruiting of the other corps, it may take a very long time indeed 
to complete them ; nor will they, from obvious reasons, be com- 
posed of men upon whom the same dependence may be had, in 
the unfortunate chance of any civil commotion, as upon those 
who are to be withdrawn. The Commander-in-Chief, who has 
just been with me, rather leads than follows me in these opinions. 
The exigency of the times may justify the risking any conse- 
quences that may happen ; and it is therefore, with the most 
respectful deference, that I presume to state those sentiments 
which occur. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 





Dublin Castle, ]Sth Oct. 1780. 

My Lord, 

With my letter to your Lordship of the 1st of June, 1779, I 
laid before you a plan for the better management of the revenue 
of this kingdom, the principal part of which consisted in the ap- 
pointment of a first commissioner, who should be, in a more 
especial manner, responsible to Government for the conduct of 
bnsiness at that Board ; but other parts of that plan, which then 
appeared to me eligible, do now, upon mature consideration of 
the present political state of this kingdom, seem to be inexpe- 
dient for the service of his Majesty's Government, and liable to 
so many objections from the powerful interest of the country, 
that I question much whether they could at this time be carried 
into effect, without manifest prejudice to the necessary influence 
of Administration. I shall not, therefore, propose to alter the 
method of official communication between Government and the 
Revenue Board, nor to change from the hands of Government 
any part of the patronage of offices in the Revenue, but I shall 
confine myself to recommend to your Lordship, that the Com- 
missioner who shall be named first in the new patent, appointing 
Commissioners of the Revenue, shall be placed on the establish- 
ment as First Commissioner, that he be expected to be present 
at the decision of every matter of importance, so that no such 
affairs be transacted without his knowledge, and that he be 
always prepared to render an account of the proceedings of that 
Board, and to give information and advice to Government, where 
it may be necessary. 

By a steady observance of instructions, which shall be given 
to the Commissioners for this purpose, I expect to procure a 
constant attendance, a regular dispatch, and an uniformity in 
the conduct of the business, which must give weight and efficacy 
to the orders of the Board, and establish a subordination through 
all ranks in the Revenue, which I hope will effect a full and 
equal collection of his Majesty's Revenue. I need not observe 
to your Lordship, that in order to accomplish this, it will be re- 



quisite that the First Commissioner be a gentleman of ability, 
experience, and knowledge in the Revenue business; and as 
Mr. Beresford, in consequence of Lord Naas's retiring from 
business, will remain the senior Commissioner, and confessedly 
possesses those qualifications which I have mentioned, it natu- 
rally follows, that he should be the person named on the esta- 
blishment, as First Commissioner. 

I must further submit to your Lordship my opinion, that as 
this will induce a constant attendance, and very much additional 
trouble to Mr. Beresford, with a considderable degree of especial 
responsibility to Government, he should be allowed an additional 
salary of one thousand pounds a year. 

It is not intended that any alteration should be made in the 
powers of the patent, which are constituted under the law, and 
could not therefore be changed without an Act of Parliament 
for the purpose. The only alteration necessary in the patent will 
be the appointing the salary of two thousand pounds per annum 
in the whole to Mr. Beresford. Every other matter, which I 
suggested coming within the power of arrangement here, I will 
see carried into execution, if your Lordship shall concur with 
me in opinion, and that what I here propose shall be honoured 
with his Majesty's approbation. 

I do therefore desire your Lordship will lay this my recom- 
mendation before his Majesty, that I may receive the royal plea- 
sure thereupon. 

I have the honour, &c. 


P.S. I herewith send you copies of the opinions given by se- 
veral gentlemen, whom I consulted upon this measure. I ap- 
plied to the Duke of Leinster, but have not yet received his 
Grace's answer. Lord Ely has expressed his approbation per- 
sonally to Mr. Beresford, in very strong terms. 

The copies, sent as above mentioned, were of the following 
persons' letters, viz. 

The Chancellor, The Speaker, 

Earl of Tyrone, Attorney-General, 
Earl of Shannon, Mr. Conolly. 




Dublin Castle, Dec. 20, 1779. 

My Lords, 

The Commissioners of His Majesty's Revenue here having laid 
before me a Representation of the 2oth past, setting forth, that 
Mr. George L'Estrange, Clerk to the Collector of this port, 
having been summoned to attend the House of Commons on 
Saturday the "20th of November last, during his absence, Alder- 
man James Horac went to the Collector's Office, to tender an 
entry for one hundred yards of old drapery, made of Irish wool, 
and Irish manufacture, to be shipped on board the Sarah Hans 
Madseraalle for Rotterdam. 

That tiie objection to the passing this entry, as being contrary 
to the British Act of the 10th and Uth of William III. and some 
arguments as to the propriety of the measure being offered to 
Mr. Horan's consideration, he was dissuaded from insisting upon 
tendering his entry, which, however, he left in the Office, with 
the amount of the duty, until he should consult his friends ; and 
on Monday morning the 2*2 nd, past, he went again to the Col- 
lector's Office, and told the Collector's clerk that he would not, 
at that time, insist on the entry being passed, but that he did 
not mean to give up the point. That it appears to them that 
this proceeding was not imagined solely by the Alderman, but 
that it was concerted in order to bring forward the question, 
how far a British law extends to the prohibition of the exporta- 
tion of Irish manufacture to foreign countries ; and as the mat- 
ter may possibly be resumed, and it is a question of no small 
importance to the state, they have thought it their duty to repre- 
sent to me this transaction. 

And 1 have the honor of inclosing herewith to your Lordship 
the said Representation, and submit the same to your Lordship's 

I have the honor to be, &c. 





St. James's, 2nd Dec. 1 780. 

My Lord, 

I have received and laid before the King your Excellency's letter 
of the 21st of last month, in which you are pleased to mention 
to me your having called upon the Law Officers of the Crown to 
prosecute the printers and publishers of certain libellous para- 
graphs in the newspaper, pursuant to the addresses of both 
Houses of Parliament, and that you expect to hear from the 
Attorney-General upon the subject. 

I had indeed concluded, from having heard nothing further 
of the prosecutions, that your Excellency, in consequence of the 
part the Recorder took in the House of Commons, soon after the 
Address was voted (intelligence of which I received from a pri- 
vate hand) had come to a resolution to decline any proceeding 
upon it; and if your Excellency had any prudential considera- 
tions of weight sufficient to induce you to postpone an imme- 
diate attention to the Addresses, I cannot but suppose that the 
weight of those considerations must be increased by so long a 
delay. I do not mean, however, to give any opinion of what 
is right to be done in this matter, as your Excellency, who is on 
the spot, must be the best judge of what will most effectually 
promote the public service. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



Dublin Castle, Uth Dec. 1780. 

My Loro, 

I inclose herewith to your Lordship an answer which I have 
received from his Majesty's Attorney-General of this kingdom, 
in consequence of my letter alluded to in my dispatch of the 
21st of last month, to which answer I beg leave to refer your 
Lordship, as well as to my letter of the 1st of September last. 

The idea of courting popular favour, or avoiding their resent- 



ment, so far as personally may affect myself, will never influence 
my conduct. Perhaps it was not necessary to insinuate this, as 
the candour of his Majesty's Ministers will incline them to do 
me justice. 

As far as my opinion may have weight in the future conduct 
of this business, I certainly should not recommend, without fresh 
provocation, that the administration of my successor should com- 
mence with bringing forward a measure of that nature. 

I have the honour to be, &c. 



May it Please your Excellency, 
In obedience to your Excellency's commands, signified by Mr. 
Sackville Hamilton's letter, dated the 21st of November last 
stating (that though your Excellency had not heard officially 
upon the subject, you had reason to believe that it had been 
thought in England that you were remiss with respect to the 
prosecutions of printers and publishers of certain libellous para- 
graphs in the newspapers of this city, and desiring that I would 
inform your Excellency of the state of that business, in order 
for your Excellency's communicating the same to his Majesty's 
Ministers), I have the honour to inform your Excellency, that 
recently after I had been furnished with copies of the resolutions 
of the Lords and Commons relative to this subject, together 
with your Excellency's order in consequence thereof, a confiden- 
tial meeting was had before the end of the last Sessions of Par- 
liament, at Sir Richard Heron's apartments, where it was thought 
that it would be imprudent, at the close of the Sessions, to hazard 
an interruption to the quiet with which the Parliament seemed 
disposed to rise, by arresting, at that time, the printers and 
publishers of the papers complained of; and a great deal having 
been said in Parliament, and in the public prints, to apologize 
for what was stated as a giddy and puerile publication, it was 
thought expedient, at the above meeting, that no legal steps 
should be taken against those persons until the approach of 
Term ; and that, in the mean time, attention should be paid to 
the turn which future publications, and the general voice, should 



take as the best guides for future conduct. In the course of the 
last long vacation, the language of those offensive publications, 
and the spirit which suggested them, seemed gradually to slacken 
or alter. And the reasons which appeared to direct a suspen- 
sion of the prosecution, collected new strength, not only by the 
subject dying away, but by a material event, which was disclosed 
in the eve of the last Term, it having been then publicly an- 
nounced that your Excellency was to be speedily succeeded in 
the government of this kingdom by Lord Carlisle. I believe it 
occurred to those who thought seriously upon this subject, that 
at the close of one administration, and the opening of another, 
the commencing a prosecution against printers and publishers of 
paragraphs absolutely forgotten, might tend to exasperate the 
public in general, and especially a numerous body of armed 
volunteers, who were principally the subject of those paragraphs, 
and, instead of contributing to peace and good order, might 
possibly have a direct contrary effect; which opinion, so far as 
the matter depends upon opinion or discretion, as one, I do not 
scruple to avow myself of, matters have therefore rested in the 
same situation which they stood at the close of the last Session, 
with regard to this subject, in the prosecution of which no re- 
missness whatever, as far as I can presume to judge, can be 
attributed to your Excellency ; those publications have been 
followed by no consequences destructive to the peace or quiet of 
the public, and seem to be extinguished in their own insignifi- 
cance. However, my Lord, I beg leave to inform your Excel- 
lency, that so far as my official duty was concerned, I have 
collected such materials for the prosecution as the Crown Soli- 
citor was able to procure, and am prepared to file informations 
as Attorney-General, the first day of next Term, or to take any 
other legal step previous thereto which shall be thought neces- 
sary, as soon as I shall receive, either from your Excellency or 
your successor, any further direction for that purpose. All which 
is humbly submitted to your Excellency, as my Report. Dated 
this 11th day of December, 1780. 

John Scott. 





The Officers of the Volunteer Corps, assembled at L. Derry, 

August 11, 1780, the Right Hon. Lord Erne in the Chair. 

Resolved, — That, in order to preserve and invigorate the great 
principle by which we have been united as patriots and soldiers, 
and to advance our military knowledge to still farther degrees 
of improvement, it be warmly recommended to the several bat- 
talions, which compose the brigades, to have frequent meetings. 

Resolved, — That, for the same important end, a general re- 
view, in the course of next summer, is indispensably necessary. 

Resolved, — That a meeting be held at L. Derry on the first 
Thursday of May next, of the several deputies of such companies 
as approve of the above resolution, in order to fix the time and 
place of the review, and to elect a Reviewing General and Com- 
manding Officer. 

Resolved, — That the thanks of this meeting be returned to 
the privates of the Volunteer Corps, for their respectable per- 
formance in the field, and the decency and very great regularity 
of conduct observed by them during their stay in Derry. 

Resolved, — That we return our sincere and very grateful ac- 
knowledgments to the inhabitants of L. Derry, for the comfort- 
able accommodations provided for the volunteer army, and the 
police, obliging attention with which they treated them during 
the time of the review. 

To the Right Hon. the Earl of Charlemont. 
My Lord, 

To secure this country from the calamities of foreign invasion, 
and to preserve domestic peace, a number of her free born sons, 
at a recent period, voluntarily united, in a military capacity, and 
acquired a knowledge of the use of arms. From small begin- 



nings these associations made a rapid progress, which was greatly 
increased by the grand and unexpected prospect which opened 
to their view. When it was discovered that this military spirit 
was likely to have an auspicious influence on our civil and com- 
mercial privileges, those who before were only mere spectators, 
catched the patriotic flame, and became emulous to have their 
names enrolled as the friends of their country. Most cheerfully 
we, in this part of the island, engaged with our virtuous fellow- 
citizens in this glorious cause. 

At a meeting of officers, assembled in this city, for the pur- 
pose of a general review, in order to support the principles which 
induced us to associate, we turned our eyes to your Lordship, as 
a nobleman most proper to be chosen our Reviewing Gene- 
ral, whose uniform and spirited attachment to the interests 
of Ireland has intitled you, from all her sincere friends, to dis- 
tinguished esteem and approbation. In circumstances more 
than sufficient to excuse you from gratifying our desire, with that 
generous disinterested zeal for the common cause, by which your 
character has been always distinguished, you were so obliging 
as to comply with our request. We are sensible, my Lord, of 
the honour you have done us ; we feel it with the most respect- 
ful gratitude. 

If, from the numerous avocations of civil life, and the short 
time employed in acquiring a knowledge of the military art, the 
troops which have passed before you in review are not yet, in 
this respect, quite accomplished, we beg leave to assure your 
Lordship, that they are ambitious to excel, and will persevere in 
their endeavours, until they are qualified, on any emergency, 
to acquit themselves with reputation and advantage to their 

Your Lordship will permit us to embrace this opportunity of 
expressing our satisfaction in the advantages, political and com- 
mercial, which this kingdom has lately obtained. In a parti- 
cular manner, we have beheld, with the highest pleasure, the 
almost unanimous declaration of our Representatives in Parlia- 
ment, that we ought to be bound by no laws, except such as are 
or may be enacted by the King, Lords, and Commons of Ireland. 
This principle, uniformly maintained by your Lordship in every 
capacity, more particularly as a Peer of the realm, we are de- 



termined firmly to support ; a principle which we hope, ere 
long, to see established on a solid and permanent foundation. 
Then, my Lord, shall our country be restored to that respectable 
rank which it ought to hold amidst the nations of Europe ; every 
jealous sentiment of the policy of our sister island will give 
place to a cordial affection for her prosperity, and the glory of 
the British empire, and the inestimable blessings of equal and 
impartial liberty be transmitted to the latest posterity. 


To the Officers assembled at Londonderry, August 11, 1780. 

When your unsolicited goodness called me to the station 
which I have now enjoyed, I was too much flattered with the 
singular honour you did me, and too anxious to contribute all in 
my power towards the success and increase of the Military As- 
sociations, to recollect, as in any other cause I should have 
done, the many impediments that stood in my way. Neither 
have I had any reason to repent my temerity in undertaking a 
task to which I was every way unequal. Your goodness has 
pardoned my defects, and I have had the unspeakable pleasure 
of being eye witness to exertions of so extraordinary a na- 
ture, that to be credited they must have been seen ; exertions 
which, as they are founded, not upon any occasional and tran- 
sitory alarm, but upon the solid basis of sound principle and of 
true patriotism, cannot fail to be lasting, and must therefore add 
permanent strength, not only to this kingdom, but to the whole 

Reviews, such as those which I have lately with heart-felt 
satisfaction, beheld, useful as they are, from their tendency to 
complete your discipline, and to increase your numbers, have yet 
another most beneficial effect, by bringing such a body of armed 
subjects together, they give you a just confidence in yourselves; 
for it is impossible for men contemplating such a line of strength, 
not to entertain the most decided sentiments in favour of their 
liberty. For my own part, I freely declare, that had I not seen 
your array, and been witness to your successful efforts, I should 
not have had the same assurance in the possession of my rights 



and privileges, which I now entertain, from this spectacle of na- 
tional strength, and from the prospect of its continuance. 

I most heartily concur with you in the satisfaction you express 
at the advantages, political and commercial, which this kingdom 
has lately obtained, and most particularly in your sentiment re- 
specting the exclusive authority of the King, Lords, and Com- 
mons of Ireland. It is by the frequent repeating and inculcat- 
ing this important maxim, and by a constant, uniform, and 
unremitting conformity to it, in the conduct of every class of 
men throughout the nation, that constitutional freedom can 
alone be obtained and secured. 

Permit me to return you my most sincere and warm acknow- 
ledgments, for the unmerited honours you have heaped upon 
me; and, with a gratitude still farther heightened by your kind 
address, to assure you, that I am, and ever shall be, 

Gentlemen, your most obliged, faithful, 
And obedient humble Servant, 




" May it please your Excellency, 
" We, the Delegates from the several Volunteer Corps here- 
after mentioned, being informed that the garrison of Dublin has 
(from the appearance of an hostile fleet off the southern coasts of 
this kingdom) received orders to hold themselves in readiness to 
march upon the shortest notice, do, by the direction of our se- 
veral corps, offer their assistance to act in such manner as shall 
be thought necessary for the safety and protection of the king- 

To which his Excellency returned the following answer : — 

" I have ever placed the most unbounded confidence in the 
loyalty and attachment of all his Majesty's subjects in this king- 



dom to his Majesty's person and government ; and I receive, 
with particular pleasure, these early and spirited offers of service, 
of which I shall think it my duty to avail myself in its fullest 
extent, if either the events of war or farther intelligence should 
make it expedient to have recourse to them." 

County of Dublin Light Dragoons 

Rathdown County Dublin Light 

Union Light Dragoons 

Hibernian Light Dragoons 
Dublin Volunteers 
Lawyers' Artillery 
Lawyers' Corps 

Merchants' Volunteers 

Liberty Volunteers 
Independent Dublin Volunteers 

Newcastle and Donore Union 

Coolock Independents 

Goldsmiths' Corps 
Trim Volunteers 
Shinrone Volunteers 
Moat ditto 
Barney ditto 
Dunkerrin ditto 
Roscrea's Blues 
Geashall Volunteers 
Kilkoursey Union 
Edenderry Union 

Wm. Broome, major, John 
Latouche, captain. 

J. T. Meddlicott, Emor 

Robert Cornewall, capt. ; 

Francis M'Annally. 
Joseph Deane, colonel. 
Pat. King. 
Robert Johnston. 
John Hunt, colonel : 
ward Stanley, Edward 
Hudson, captains. 
Nat. Hone, col. ; Henry 
Gudgeon, major. 
William Worth ington. 
Henry Grattan, colonel ; 

J. T. Ashenhurst. 
Joseph Deane, colonel ; 

John Verschoyle, major. 
Richard M'Cormick, John 

Lord Charlemont. 
Earl of Mornington. 
John Lloyd, colonel. 
George Glibben, colonel. 
And. Armstrong, colonel. 
J. F. Rollaston, colonel 
W. P. Vaughan, colonel 
Rane Cooke, major. 
John Judge, colonel. 
John Lucas, colonel. 

Cloghan and Garrycastle Volunteers T. Coghlan, colonel. 

T. Bernard, colonel. 

Mountain Rangers 



Andrew Armstrong, col. 
John Warburton, colonel, 
Th. Drought, colonel. 
T. Drought, colonel. 
John Darley, colonel. 
Thomas Norris. 
Lord Trimbleston. 

Clara Independents 
Fishertown Rangers 
English Rangers 

Frankfort and Balliboy Volunteers 
Leap Volunteers 
Tullamore Light Horse 
Coolock Independents 
County Wicklow, one troop of light Samuel Hayes, Esq. 

dragoons and five companies of 


Loughrea Independents Mich. Daly, Esq. 

Maryborough Corps Math. Capan, Esq. 

Independent Corps of County and Clifden, G. P. Bushe, and 

City of Kilkenny Luke Roche, Esqrs. 

First Iveagh Battalion, County Down Sir Richard Johnston. 
Montrath Cavalry and Infantry Corps C. Henry Coote, Esq. 

Win, G. Newcomen, Esq. 
J. Dillon, Esq. 
James Hamilton, Esq. 

Edgeworthstown Corps 
Skreen Corps 
Monaghan Volunteers 
Newry Corps. 
The Artillery Company. 
Light Infantry Company. 
Battalion Company. 
Loughbrickland Loyalists. 
Ballymascanlan Rangers. 
Independent Light Dragoons of Ida 
Independent Light Dragoons and 

Curraghmore Rangers 
Waterford Union Independent Light Ed. Lee, captain. 


Waterford Independent Infantry No. 1. —Henry Alcock, 


Ditto • No. 2. — Robert Shap. 

Carew, captain. 

Ditto No. 3. — Dennis Flyn, capt. 

Ditto , No.4.—H. W. Dobbin, 


Ditto No. 5. — Wm. Barret, capt. 

Thomas Fitzgerald, major. 
Lord Tyrone, colonel. 



Royal Oak Independent Company 

Royal Oak Independent Light 

Sixtli Ulster Regiment 

Troop of Light Dragoons of the 
Lower Iveagh Legion — Battalion 
of Infantry of ditto 

Youghall Blues, Youghall Rangers, 
and the Union 

Belfast Battalion 

Cork Corps 

True Blue Legion 

Boyne Society 

Aughrim Corps 

Cork Union 

Culloden Association 

Black Pool Association 

Passage Union 

Enniskillen Volunteers 

Cork Cavalry 

Independent Cork Artillery 
Bandon Boyne 

Kilkenny Rangers and Kilkenny 

Castlewillan Volunteers 
First Royal Regt. of Volunteers 
Company of Artillery and Troop 

of Light Dragoons 
Donegal Company of Volunteers 
Canrickfergus Volunteers 
Clanricarde and Barony Cavalry 
Clanricarde, Galway, Rosborough 

&c. &c. Infantry and Artillery 
Right Hon. Mr. Ponsonby 
Tyrone Battalion 
Kildare Corps 

Corn. Bolton, col. James 

Kearney, captain. 
Corn. Bolton, colonel. 

Hill Wilson and William 

F. Jones, Esqrs. 
John Knox, Esq. of Dro- 


Robert Uniacke, Esq. 

Stewart Banks, Esq. lieut. 

James Morrisson, lieut.-col. 
John Bagwell, colonel. 
Eb. Morisson, major. 
Hen. Kirkman, lieut. col. 
Ben. Bomfield, colonel. 
Tho. Barry, lieut. col. 

Mich. -,M.C. 

John Bennett, colonel. 
Win. Chetwynd, colonel. 
R. Hare, captain. 
R. Moore, captain. 
John Butler, Esq. 

Lord Glerawley. 




Francis Shaw, capt. j s 
Capt. Delaware J g 

Earl of Clanricarde. 

With offers of service. 
Samuel Lawson, maj. 
By D. of Leinster. 



Naas Rangers 
Kilcullen Rangers 
Athy Rangers 

Castledermot Light Dragoons 
Curragh Rangers 




Castledown Union 


Naas Infantry 

Dungannon Battalion 

Springhill Union 

Ballinasloe and Aughrim Corps 

Killymoon and Barony of Strabane 

Carrick Volunteers 
Bovvry of Loughinshillin Volunteers 
Loyal Limerick Volunteers 
Royal Glin Artillery 
Kilfinnan Cavalry and Infantry 
County of Limerick Horse 
Connaught Rangers 

Small County Union 

True Blue Cavalry and Infantry 

Royal County Limerick Horse 

Connelloe Horse 

Riddlestown Hussars 

County Limerick Fencibles 

Castleconnel and Killaloe Rangers 

Adair Volunteers 

Loyal German Fusileers 

Limerick Independents 

Rathkeale Volunteers 
Aldborough Legion 





Ri. Nevill. 
Thomas Carton. 
S. Weldon. 
Rob. Power. 
Ponsonby Moore. 

R. Southwell. 
Hugh Cane. 
Sir F. Aylmer. 
Rt. Hon. Mr. Conolly 
Samuel Spencer. 
J. Bourke. 
Roger Duffen. 
Wm. Conyngham. 
N. Trench. 
James Stewart, Esq. 

John Peyton, lieut. col. 
J. Staples, colonel. 
Thomas Smyth, colonel. 
John Fitzgerald, colonel. 
S. Oliver, colonel. 
Ed. Croker, major. 
Wm. Percivall, colonel 

John Grady, colonel. 
Wm. Thos. Monsell, col. 
Hugh Massey, colonel. 
William Odell, major. 
John Bateman, major. 
J. Thomas Waller, colonel. 
Ri. Bourke, col. com. 
W. Quin, colonel. 
Thos. Burgess, 2nd major. 
C. Powell and W. Widen- 

ham, (Delegates.) 
George Leake, colonel. 
Lord Aldborough. 



First Ulster Regiment 

Mitchelstown Light Dragoons 
Tallow Armed Society 
Independent Blues of Lismore 
Dungarvan Volunteers 
Cappoquin Volunteers 
Carrick Union 
Rockingham Volunteers 
Glorious Memory Battalion 

Lord Charlemont colonel, 
Mr. Brownlow, lieut. col. 
Lord Kingsborough. 
Wm. Car, captain. 
John Kelly, captain. "*| g 
Godfrey Greene, maj. S 2 
John Keane, colonel. I f H 
Ed. Mandeville, capt. J j 
H. Brownrigg, colonel, 
Thomas Jones, colonel. 
Mr. Conolly. 




^ ~~~ ' " 1 

Date Due 


UG -4 19 


— . — _____ 



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